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NEGA TIVE 

NO . 92 -804 78 




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AUTHOR: 



KOHL, J. G. 



TITLE: 



RUSSIA 



PLACE: 



ST. PETERSBURG 



DA TE : 



1844 



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PRESERVATION DEPARTMENT 



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Kolil, 1. G. ^:|(.,lohanfi Ge')rq) , |:dl80B-1378 . 

Russiaf-hl (nicroform:(:}:b3t. F'etersburg, Moscow, Kharkoff, Riga, Odessa, 
the German provinces on the Baltic, the steppes, the Crimea, and the int 
erior of the empire. 

London : U^Chapman and Ha i 1 , {:clf344 . 
iv, S:^Op. t^bf rjld. ma(>.{c23 l/2cm. 
RussiarXQesci iption and travel . 
Russia^xSocial life and customs. 

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Beside tJw main topic, this book also treats of 
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RUSSIA. 



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V A.VOJlJt. 

X. 



ST. PETERSBURG, MOSCOW, 

KHARKOFF, RIGA, ODESSA, 



THE 



GERMAN PROVINCES ON THE BALTIC, 



THE STEPPES, THE CRIMEA, 



AND 



THE INTERIOR OF THE EMPIRE. 



BY J; a KOHL. 



LONDON: 

CHAPMAN AND HALL, 186, STRAND. 

1844. 



[-■ 



CONTENTS. 






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C. WHITING, BEAUFORT HOUSE, STRAND. 



PAGE 

ST. PETERSBURG. 

Panorama of St. Petersburg i 

Architecture of St. Petersburg 5 

The Neva 13 

Life in the Streets 26 

The Isvoshtshiks (Public Sledge- 
drivers) 36 

The Winter 42 

The Markets 43 

The Black People 57 

The Churches 71 

The Servants of St. Petersburg 81 

The Monuments 89 

The Arsenals 94 

The Imperial Palaces 99 

The Hermitage 105 

The Foundling Hospital m 

The Exchange 116 

Industry and Manufactures 122 

The Table and Kitchen 133 

Foreign Teachers 139 

The Butter-week 149 

The Gulanie 153 

The Burning Theatre 155 

The Great Masked Ball 157 

The Great Fast leo 

Palm Sunday Fair 162 

The Easter Eggs if>4 

The Three last Days of Passion-week 164 

Easter-eve 155 

The Gardens and Villas .., 174 

The Islands ,,... 175 

The Sea-coast I80 

The Duderhof Hills 3S3 

Cronstadt 134 

.Miscehaneous Notices 193 

Statistics 194 

Suicides 194 

Elements of the Population 194 

Movement of the Population 195 

Number of Chm-ches 196 

The Rashtshiks .'.* 195 

The Rasnoshtshiks 193 

Dress of the Court Ladies .*..* 200 

Nimiberof Horses in an Equipage... 201 

Consecration of a House 201 

BruloflTs Picture of Pompeii 202 

River Shipping 204 

Pickpockets 205 

Office for Foreigners 2O6 

Iron Roofs 206 

The Father of the Russian Fleet ".*.'.* 207 

Vapour-baths 207 

A Russian's Opinion of an Itaiiaii 
Winter 210 



PAGE 

Coffee-houses 210 

Bolshoi Prospekt 211 

MOSCOW. 

Plan ; Style of Building ; Streets 212 

The Kremlin 214 

The Bolshoi and Maloi Dvorez 217 

The Orusheinaya Palata 219 

The Arsenal 221 

The Market-places 221 

The Second-hand Market 224 

Luchmannoff's Magazine 226 

Churches 227 

Pakroski Sabor, or The Church of 

the Protection of Mary 235 

Iverskaya Boshia Mater 237 

The Mosque 239 

Convents 240 

Devitshei Monastir, or Convent for 

Women 241 

Andronicus Convent 244 

Convent of the Miracle 245 

Sa Ikdno Spasskoi 247 

The Greek Convent 248 

Divine Service in the Russian Greek 

Church 250 

The IVIass 251 

Church Music 254 

Cursing of the Heretics 256 

Consecration of the Wafer 258 

Blessing the Fruit 258 

Moleben 259 

Making the Sign of the Cross 259 

Lighting of Tapers 261 

The Clergy of the Russian Church ... 263 
Academies and Seminaries for the 

Clergy 269 

The Sects of the Russian Church 271 

The University 273 

PubUe Gardens 276 

The Palace in Ruins 277 

Moscow a Provincial City 279 

Aqueducts 281 

Moscow after the Conflagration 281 

The Cholera Hospital 282 

Russian Thieves 282 

Cucumber Water 283 

Dialects 283 

Trading Boys 283 

Street Lighting 284 

Prices of Lessons 285 

New Russian Saints 286 

Russian Eccentrics 286 

The Pearl 293 

A Russian Author 294 



1391 



^ 



ij 



IV 



CONTENTS. 



THE GERMAN PROVINCES ON 
THE BALTIC. 



PAGE 



Libau 



298 



The Interior of Courland 301 

Grobin 301 

Northern Hospitality •>"'^ 



Sea-bathing 



308 



The Chase ^11 

From Zierau to Dondangen •i^'' 

Goldingen •.; •••••• ^U 

Pilten and Windau. The Most Nor- 
therly Estates ^^l 



Mitau 



319 



St. John's Day at Mitau 321 

From Mitau to Riga 323 



RIGA. 



324 



The Russian Suburbs 326 

The Lions of Riga ; 329 

The Trade and Shipping of Riga ... 331 

Society and Popular Festivities 333 

The Hofchenof Riga 335 

The Island of Runoe 336 

From Riga to Dorpat 340 

The University of Dorpat 343 

Pemau, Habsal, and Reval 346 

From Dorpat to Narva 348 

jjarva 

FromNaiVa to St. Petersburg 353 

Natural Phenomena of the Baltic ...... 355 

The Animal World in the Baltic Pro- 
vinces 3^8 

The Baltic Ceres ^^^ 

The Talkus and Vakken '>oi 

Elements of the Population 365 

The Lettes— Their Origin 371 

Lettish Mythology •.••••••-;; 07^ 

National Character of the Lettes 374 

Dwellings of the Lettes 377 

I^ttish Costume 378 

The Birch-tree 879 

Their Fondness for Ridmg ^80 

Wedding Customs 381 

Lettish Funerals ;.....; • 382 

The Esthonians— Their Origin and 
Boundariea— Their National Cha- 
racter 383 

Houses, Costume, and Manner of 

jjfg 384 

Manners and Customi 387 



PAGB 

Superstitions of the Esthonians 388 

Agriculture of the Esthonians 389 

The Slavery and Recent Emancipation 

of the. Esthonians and Lettes 390 

The Germans and Russians— German 

and Russian Institutions 394 

Lutheranism and the Russian Greek 

Church 396 

The Language and Literature of Ger- 
many and Russia 399 

SOUTH RUSSIA AND THE CRIMEA. 

Poltava ^01 

Krementshug '*"3 

Tlie Steppes of New Russia 406 

Nikolayeff ^j^ 

Odessa "*]/ 

Public Institutions 425 

Shops and Markets 426 

Excursions in the Steppes— Envi- 
rons of Odessa 430 

German Colonies r^"":" ^^^ 

Navigation of the Dniester— Troglo- 
dytes 440 

The Crimea **; 

Simferopol 457 

Baktshiserai 458 

Sevastopol -.•• 461 

The Baidar Valley— Alupka — The 
Steamboat 462 



469 
473 
476 

482 



THE STEPPES OF SOUTHERN 

RUSSIA. 

General Aspect of the Steppe 466 

Climate 

Vegetation • 

The Animal Kingdom 

Locusts 

Herds of Horses 4S7 

Flocks of Sheep • 496 

The Herds of Homed Cattle 500 

The Tallow-houses 501 

THE INTERIOR OF RUSSIA. 

Kharkoff. ;•- J^J 

Tlie Winter Fair at Kharkoff 513 

The Money-changers SJJ 

Country Life in the Ukraine 517 

A Peasant Wedding in the L^kraine ... 518 
Villages in the Ukraine 522 



Poltava 



526 



PREFACE. 



The volume here presented to the pubUc contains an 
abstract of nine closely-printed volumes, descriptive of the 
general features and popular maimers of a large portion 
of the Kussian Empire. To bring the contents of those 
nine volumes within the compass of one, was a task of 
some difficulty; but the Editor flatters himself that it has 
been accomplished, without omitting any of the more 
interesting portions of the four original works, published 
in quick succession by their accomphshed and lively 
author. To the generaUty of readers, this epitome will, 
probably, be a more welcome offering, than a more faithful, 
but, at the same time a far more voluminous translation, 
could have been. 

The description of St. Petersburg has been given at 
much greater length than any of the other portions of the 
work ; partly, because it was supposed that the capital 
would be an object of greater interest to the EngUsh pubUc 
than the other parts of the empire ; and partly because, 
in the Editor's opinion, Mr. Kohl's description of St. Peters-^ 
burg is decidedly the best of his works on Kussiaj 



ST. PETERSBURG 



..• Tl.e Maps and Plans which accompany the original works have not been 
given in the present translation, partly because they would materially .ncrease 
fhe cost, and partly because such diminutive maps are ve^- unsat.sfacto^. 
Readers who may desire them, will find the special Maps "^ B"^'»' ^"J *" 
Plans of St. Petersburg and Moscow belonging to the senes published by 
the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge, very superior to any which 
could have been introduced into this work. 



CHAPTER I. 

PANORAMA OF ST. PETERSBURG. 

Formed in early antiquity, and crystallized during the barbarism of the 
middle ages, our cities, with their narrow streets and many-cornered 
houses, with the hereditary inconveniences and anomalies of their archi- 
tecture look often like so many labyrinths of stone, in which chance 
alone disposed the dwellings ; but in St. Petersburg, the offspring of a 
more enlightened age, every thing is arranged orderly and conveniently: 
Wie streets are broad, the open spaces regular, and the houses roomy. 
Ihe fifty square versts destined for the Russian capital, allowed evefy 
house a sufficient extent of ground. In our old German towns, tall dis- 
torted buildings seem every where squeezing each other out of shape, and 
pantmg, as it were, for want of room to breathe in ; whereas in St. Peters- 
burg every house has an individuality of its own, and stands boldly forth 
from the mass Yet St Petersburg is any thing but a picturesque city. 
AU 13 airy and light. There is no shade about the picture, no variety of 
tone. Ji,very thmg is so convenient, so good-looking, so sensibly arranged, 
and so very modern, that Canaletto Would have found it hard to have 
obtained for his canvass a single poetical tableau such as would have pre- 
sented itself to him at every comer in our Geiman cities, so rich in con- 
trasts, recollections, and variegated life. The streets in St. Petersburff 
are so broad, the open places so vast, the arms of the river so mighty, that 
large as the houses are in themselves, they are made to appear smaU by 
fl«f „?r f^P •? "^ *e wh°l«- . This effect is increased by the extreme 

fhp nf t/ M ' ""/''' u- ^^^ "^y '^'"'^- No building i^ raised above 
the other. Masses of architecture, worthy of mountains for their pedes- 
tals, are ranged side by side in endless lines. Nowhere gratified, either 

SLtn?;a?a:eT°"'"^' *'" ''' "^"^'^"^^ °^^^ '^ •"°°°'°'>°- -"^ ^' - 

the"«LtrT' "■ '^"^ 'f ^i °? ^'""^ ""'^^ '^"^^S t''*" •» ^ter. ^hen 
The S' n' 7T rl.*^' ^°''''' ^"^ "" <=°^«'ed with one white. 
The white walls of the buddings seem to have no hold upon tte ground, 

sh«1lnw *^ ?;"* u^^ °°^^ ""•^^'' ^^'^ '«'«'«» 'h-' looks rather like the 
shadow than the substance of a city. There are tfiings in nature pleasing 
to look upon and ptifying to think of, and yet Ly thing but pictu- 
resque, and one of these is St. Petersburg. ^ ^ 

»r>J° °*\" fl'^",' ''?««^'e'-' undergoes a more interesting change in 
spring, when the sky clears up, and the sun removes the pale shroud from 
the roofs and the waters. The houses seem to recover a firm footing on 

B 



h 



2 PANORAMA OF ST. PETERSBURG. 

tlie ground, the lively green of the painted roofs, and the azure star- 
spangled cupolas of the churches, with their gilt spires, throw off their 
monotonous icy covering ; the eye revels again in the long untasted 
enjoyment of colour, and the river, divested of its wintry garment, flows 
again in unrobed majesty, and gaily mirrors the palaces ranged along its 

banks. 

As the city presents no elevated point, the spectator, to see it, must 
elevate hhnself, and for this purpose there is no place better suited than 
the tower of the Admiralty, from which the principal streets diverge, and 
near which the great arms of the river seem to meet. This tower is pro- 
vided with a series of galleries, and the delightful views from those 
galleries on a fine spring day are not easily matched in any other city. 

At the foot of the tower the inner yards of the Admiralty present them- 
selves. There the timber from the forests of Vologda and Kostroma lies 
piled in huge heaps, and mighty ships of war are growing into life under 
the busy hands of swarms of workmen. On the other side he the splendid 
squares or plokhtshods of the Admiralty, of Peter, and of the Coui-t, along 
the sides of which are grouped the chief buildings of the capital. The 
Hotel de I'Etat Major, whence Russia's million of soldiers receive their 
orders; the Senate-house, and the Palace of the Holy Synod, in which 
the meum and tuum, the believing and rejecting, the temporal and the 
spiritual concerns of a hundred nations, are discussed and determined ; 
St. Isaac's Church, with its profusion of columns, in which each stone is of 
colossal magnitude; the War-office, where a thousand pens plv their 
peaceful labours in the service of Mars ; and the mighty Winter Palace, m 
a comer of which dwells the great man to whom one-tenth of the ^uman 
race look up with hope or anxiety, and whose name is piized and dreaded, 
beyond any otlier, over one-half the surface of our globe. 

The length of the open spaces bordered by the public buildings just 
mentioned, is not much less than an Enghsh mile, and the spectacles, 
metamorphoses, tableaux vivans and ombres chinoises which daily and 
hourly present themselves to the spectator who keeps watch upon the 
tower of the Admiralty, are as varied as they are magnificent and in- 
teresting. At one extremity, near the Senate and the Synod, stands the 
colossal equestrian statue of Peter the. Great, tramphng underfoot the 
dragon of barbarism, and ever ready to dash oflf at a full gallop from the 
rock, from the summit of which his charger appears to be in the act of 
springing. The heads of the state and of the church— metropolitans, 
senators, bishops, and judges— are constantly arriving and departing, 
tlieir equipages keeping up an incessant movement around the im- 
mortal Peter. At the other extremity arises the smooth and poHshed 
monolith of the " Restorer of Peace to the World," on the summit of 
which stands the archangel with the cross of peace, while at its, foot the 
rattling of imperial equipages scarcely ceases for a moment. Field- 
marshals, generals, governors, and gentlemen of the court, are constantly 
coming and going. Priestly processions, military parades, pompous eqm- 
pages, and funeral trains, are thronging by at every hour of the day, and 
the drums and fifes aii rarely 'Jilent, but continue, at brief intervals, to 
announce that a mighty man of the earth has just passed by. ^ 

To the south of the Admiralty the most important part of the city un- 
folds itself, the Bolshala Storona, or Great Side. Towards the west lies 
VasUiefskoi Ostrof, or Basilius Island, ynih its beautiful Exchange, its 



PANORAMA OF ST. PETERSBURG. J 

Academy of Sciences, and its University. To the north is seen the 
Petersburgskaia Storona, or Petersburg Side, with its citadel stretching 
out into the Neva ; and towards the east arise the barracks and factories 
of the Viborg Side. These are the four principal divisions of the city, 
formed hy the Great and Little Neva, and by the Great Nefka. The 
Great Side comprises by far the most important portion of the capital, 
with the court, the nobility, and more than half the population. The 
least important is the Viborg Side, inhabited chiefly by gardeners, soldiers, 
and manufacturers. It is rapidly extending, however, for nowhere else 
in St. Petersburg are building speculations going on to a larger extent. 
The Basilius Island commerce appears to have selected for her especial 
residence, and the Muses have raised their temple by the side of Mercury's. 
The Petersburg Side, a low and marshy island, remarkable cliiefly for its 
fortress or citadel, whose rayon drives the houses from the river-side, is 
inhabited by the poorer classes of the population, and has already assumed 
much of the character of a metropoHtan faubourg. 

The closely-built masses of the Great Side — closely built in comparison 
with the other quarters of the city— are divided into three semicircular 
divisions by the Molka, the St. Catherine, and the Fontanka canals. These 
divisions are called the First, Second, and Third Admiralty sections, and 
are again subdivided by the three principal streets diverging from the 
Admiralty: the Neva Perspective (Nevskoi Prospekt); the Peas Street 
(Gorokhovaia Oulitza) ; and the Resurrection Perspective (Vosnosenskoi 
Prospekt). 

As these three principal streets meet at the foot of the Admiralty Tower, 
a man, taking his position at this central point, may look down them, and, 
with the aid of a good telescope, see what is going on in \he most remote 
quarters of the city. The direction of these three streets and of the canals 
determine that of most of the other streets. Of these the most remarkable 
are the Great and Little Morskaia, the Great and Little Millionava, the 
Meshtshanskala, and the Sadovala or Garden Street. All the streets 
without exception are broad and convenient, blind alleys and narrow lanes 
being wholly unknown. They are classed, indeed, into prospekts, oulitzi, 
and perouloks, or cross streets, but even these perouloks would in any of 
our older towns be thought quite spacious enough for main streets. Eveiy 
street has two names, a German and a Russian. 

Beyond the Fontanka, along whose banks are ranged a succession of 
palaces. He the more remote portions of the city ; and beyond these, bor- 
dering on the swamps of Ingermanland may be dimly seen, through the 
mists of the horizon, the suburbs on the Ligof ka and Zagarodnoi canals, 
together with the suburban villages of great and Little Okhta. Even 
these remote quarters, peopled by yemshtshiks, plotniks, and mushiks,* 
bear no resemblance to the wretched abodes of poverty in most of our 
European cities. There are in London and Paris, and even in many Ger- 
man cities, quarters that seem the chosen domain of famine and misery, 
and where a filthy, ragged, insolent, and demoralized race of beings, are 
crowded into houses as dirty, as dilapidated, and as repulsive as them- 
selves. Not so in St. Petersburg. Beggars, rag-gatherers, and half- 
naked cripples, are nowhere to be seen in the city graced by the imperial 
residence. Indeed, in none of the large cities of Russia is there to be seen 



* Waggoners, carpenters, and peasants. 

B 2 



4 PANORAMA OF ST. PETERSBURG. 

a street population such as we have just described. Of this, the stat^ of 
serfage in which the lower classes live is the cause. The poor are all in a 
condition of dependence; and that very dependence, while it impedes the 
workman in his attempts to raise himself, prevents the possibihty of his 
falling so low as may sometimes be the case with a free labourer. In no 
city of Russia do we see tlie wretched hovels of poverty offering a painful 
contrast to the mansions of the wealthy, as may be seen in almost every 
city of Western Europe. The suburbs of St. Petersburg, where dwell the 
labouring classes, or the black people, as they are there called, have a 
desolate and uninviting air ; still there is nothing repulsive or disgustmg in 

them. ^ r \. 

The roofs in St. Petersburg are generally flat, and few houses can 
boast of more than two floors ; indeed the majority have only one, par- 
ticularly in the remoter quarters. Even in the heart of the town many 
one-floored houses are seen, and houses of three or four floors are to be 
met with only in the three Admiralty sections. Now that ground-rents 
have risen so much, and the town is stretching iteelf out in every direction, 
loftier houses are beginning to be built, and additional floors are m some 
places erected over those that aheady exist. Wliile I was in St. Peters- 
burg some hundreds of houses underwent the process of having then: roofs 
taken off, for the purpose of having additional floors added. 

In the same way that the three prospekts diverge from the Admiralty 
Tower towards the south, the several arms of the Neva stretch away 
towards the north, and when the stranger with his telescope is tired of 
watching the dashing equipages on the one side, he may turn and con- 
template the ships and gondolas on the other. Bridges there are but few 
over the Neva, and a man would, therefore, often have to go a round of 
several versts when he wanted to cross the river, were there not all along 
the banks a multitude of boats ready, for a few copeks, to convey him to 
the other side. These boats are mostly uncovered, and are rowed, by two 
men. Covered boats, however, with six, ten, and even twelve rowers are 
not wanting. The watermen ply their caUing with much dexterity, and 
sometimes even entertain their passengers with songs and music. The 
court, the ministers, the nobles, and many of the pubUc mstitutions, have 
their private barges, richly ornamented, and rowed by men in handsome 
liveries. The canals and the several arms of the Neva are as much ani- 
mated by these boats as the streets by equipages ; and, on Sundays, little 
fleets may be seen gliding away to the enchanted islands that form the 
favourite resort for amusement to the citizens of the Russian capital. 

In the spacious arms of the Neva, the ships of war, as well as the mer- 
chant-vessels, find a spacious anchorage ; they are not, therefore, crowded 
together, as is the case in some large maritime places, but He grouped and 
scattered along the quays. I'hese quays, again, are bordered by noble 
buildings ; by the sumptuqus mansions of the English Quay, by a range of 
palaces on VassUi Ostrof Quay, by the Exchange, the Corps* of Cadets, 
the Academy of Sciences, the University, the Academy of Arts, the Corps 
of Cadets of the Mines, &c. All these buildings are pompous and of vast 
extent. 



♦ The Kadetskoi Korpus. The Russians apply the word " corps*' not only to the 
young gentlemen themselves, but likewise to the building that serves them as a 
residence. 



PANORAMA OF ST. PETERSBURG. 5 

Peter the Great designed Vassili Ostrof from the first for the seat of 
commerce, and it was his intention to have intersected it with canals, after 
the fashion of Amsterdam, which in his judgment presented the very 
model for a commercial city. Some of these canals were actually cut\ but 
were afterwards filled up again, and the whole plan was eventuaUy aban- 
doned. Vassih Ostrof, as it now stands, looks as unlike Amsterdam as 
any thing can well be imagined. The houses have the air of palaces ; 
the clerks that move among them are all handsomely dressed, the equi- 
pages are elegant, and the streets unincumbered by drays or waggons. 
The warehouses of the merchants are either at Cronstadt, or, at all events, 
away from the dwelling-houses. 

The Petersburg Island, which is in turn divided by smaller arms of 
the nver from the Apothecary Island, the Petrofskoi Island, &c., owes its 
chief interest to the citadel, which from the tower of the Admiralty may 
be examined in all its details. It is well that the people of St. Peters- 
burg have other things to think of, than the evident destination of this 
bristlmg fortress imbosomed in the very centre of their city, where it can 
command nothing but the town itself, and would be harmless to a foreign 
enemy. The citadel is certainly not maintained as a means of defending, 
but as a means of controlling, the city ; as a refuge for the imperial family 
and the heads of the state, either in case of a foreign invasion, or of a 
domestic insurrection. Against an attack from the sea-side, St. Peters- 
burg has no other fortification than Cronstadt. Should this ever be forced 
by a maritime foe, the defenceless capital will have more cause than her 
assailants to tremble at the dangerous weapon that she carries in her breast. 
Nor is such an event beyond the range of likelihood. England is the 
only great power with which there seems to be any probability that 
Russia will come into collision. The Russian Baltic fleet could not main- 
tain Itself against the combined fleets of England, Denmark, and Sweden. 
The Russian ships, after the loss of a battle, would have to retire behind 
Cronstadt. Should Cronstadt then. yield, either to the gold or to the 
artillery of the enemy, the Russian garrison would be forced to seek shelter 
m the citadel, the English men-of war would enter the Neva, and in the 
cannonade that would probably ensue, the finest part of the capital might 
be laid in ashes by the fire of its own citadel. The mortification of such 
a catastrophe would drive the government to realize the idea frequently 
entertained, of retimiing to the ancient capital, the City of the Czars, to 
the Kremlin of Moscow ; Petersburg would shrink together into a mere 
maritime city of trade, and Vassili Ostrof would perhaps be all that would 
remain of it. 



CHAPTER n. 

THE ARCHITECTURE OF ST. PETERSBURG. 



No modem city can boast that it is so entirely composed of palaces and 
colossal buildings as St. Petersburg. Even the dwellings of the poor have 
a show of magnificence about them. There are several houses in the 



Hi 



|[ 



6 ARCHITECTURE OF ST. PETERSBURG. 

town in which thousands of human beings have their residence. The 
Winter Palace, for instance, has 6000 inhabitants ; in the Infantry Hos- 
pital 4000 beds are made up ; in the Foundling Hospital there are 7000 
children ; and in the Corps of Cadets there are some thousands of those 
young gentlemen. There are single houses from which their owners de- 
rive princely revenues. Of many the annual rental exceeds 50,000 
rubles, of some 100,000. The ground occupied by the Corps of Cadets 
forms a square of which each side is about a quarter of an English mile 
in length. There are other buildings, such as the Admiralty, the Hotel de 
TEtat Major, the Tauride Palace, &c., that occupy ground enough for a 
small town. Then come buildings of a second rank, such as the Smolnoi 
Convent ; the Neva Convent ; the Commercial Bank ; several hospitals 
and barracks ; the hemp, tallow, and other magazines ; the Custom-house ; 
the Senate ; the Synod ; the Marble Palace ; the Imperial Stables ; and the 
old palace of the Grand Duke Michael. Next come what may be called 
the buildings of a third rank : the large theatres, the large churches, the 
smaller hospitals, &c. 

Among the private houses also are some of enormous extent. I knew 
one of which the ground-floor, on one side, was occupied by a public bazaar, 
in which thousands of the necessaries and conveniences of life were offered 
for sale. • On the other side, a multitude of German, English, and French 
mechanics and tradesmen had hung out their signs. On the first floor 
dwelt two senators, and the families of various other persons of distinction. 
On the second floor was a school of very high repute, and a host of 
academicians, teachers, and professors, dwelt there with their famihes. In 
the back part of the building, not to talk of a midtitude of obscme per- 
sonages, there resided several colonels and majors, a few retired generals, 
an Armenian priest, and a German pastor. Had all the rest of St. 
Petersburg gone to the ground, and this house alone remained, its in- 
habitants would have sufliced for the formation of a little political com- 
munity of their own, in which every rank in society would have had its 
representatives. When such a house is burnt down, 200 families at once 
become roofless. To seek any one in such a house is a real trial of patience. 
Ask the butshnik (the policeman at the comer of the street), and he will 
tell you perhaps that his knowledge extends only to the one side of the 
house, but that the names of those who live in the other half are unknown 
to him. There are so many holes and comers in such a house, that even 
those who dwell in it are unable to tell you the names of all the inmates ; 
and no man thinks another his neighbour, merely because they happen to 
live imder the same roof. Many of these houses look mipretending enough 
when seen from the street, to which they always turn their smallest side ; 
but enter the podydsde or gateway, and you are astonished at the suc- 
cession of side-buildings and back-buildings, of passages and courts, some 
of the latter large enough to review a regiment of cavalry in them. 

Few of the houses in St. Petersburg, it has already been observed, ex- 
ceed two floors in height, except in a few of the most central streets. A 
speculator some time ago built several houses of three stories, in one of the 
cross streets of Vassili Ostrof, and was completely mined by the under- 
taking, for he could find no tenant who was willing to mount so high. On 
the other hand, even in the central parts of the city, there are not a few 
houses, of not more than one floor in height, belonging to wealthy in- 
dividuals, who in the spirit of their national predilection spread themselve3 



ARCHITECTURE OF ST. PETERSBURG. 7 

out upon the ground, whereas a house of two stories containing the same 
number of rooms would only cost them half as much. The Russians have 
as great a partiality for wooden houses as for low houses, and perhaps with 
more reason. To a Russian particularly, a wooden house holds out a 
multitude of recommendations. Firstly, wood is more easily fashioned into 
the wished-for shape than stone ; and then a wooden house is more quickly 
built, costs less, and is much warmer. The government discourages the 
erection of wooden houses in many ways ; nevertheless, the majority of 
the houses in St. Petersburg, perhaps two-thirds, are still of wood. 

The building of a house is a much more costly undertaking in St. Peters- 
burg than in any other part of Russia. Provisions are dear, and the 
price of labour always comparatively high. Then the ground brings often 
enormously high prices. There are private houses, the mere ground of 
which is valued at 200,000 mbles, a sum for which, in other parts^of 
the empire, a man might buy an estate of several square leagues, with 
houses, woods, rivers, and lakes, and all the eagles, bears, wolves, oxen, 
and human creatures that inhabit them. In particularly favourable situa- 
tions for business as much as 1000 mbles a year has been paid by way of 
rent for every window looking out into the street. The next thing that 
renders building so costly, is the difficulty of obtaining a solid foundation. 
The spongy marshy nature of the soil makes it necessary for the builder 
to begin by constructing a strong scaffolding under ground, before he can 
think of rearing one over it. Every building of any size rests on piles, 
and would vanish like a stage ghost were it not for the enormous beams 
that furnish it support. Such is the pedestal on which stands the citadel 
with all its walls ; and even the quays along the river-side, the foot 
pavements, and the framework of the canals, must be secured in a similar 
way. The foundation alone for the Isaac's Church cost upwards of a 
million of mbles, a sum for which a magnificent church might have been 
finished in most countries. Even with all this costly precaution, the 
builders do not always succeed in getting a solid basis to build on. After 
the inundation of 1824, the walls, in many houses, burst asunder, in con- 
sequence of the foundation having given way. The English Palace, as it 
is called, which lies on the road to Peterhof, has fairly separated from 
the steps leading up to it ; either the palace has drawn itself back one 
way, or the steps the other. On all the fine quays the blocks of granite 
of which they are formed have settled more or less, and the street pave- 
ment in spring may be said to approach to a state of solution ; when car- 
riages drive over it the ground shakes like a bog, and, in many places, the 
stones rise up or sink into the earth, forming often the most dangerous holes. 

Pine logs, laid horizontally on each other, fiimish the usual material for 
the construction of the wooden houses. Stone houses are built either of 
bricks or of Finland granite. The brick-walls are of extraordinary thick- 
ness. In our part of Europe we have frequent occasion to wonder at the 
great height to which our architects venture to run up their thin walls ; 
in Russia the wonder is reversed, for it is astonishing to see the thickness 
given to walls intended for so trifling an elevation. Five or six feet is no un- 
usual thickness for a brick- wall in St. Petersburg. Granite is less suitable 
to architectural ornaments than marble, and is but little used by the 
Russians, who seldom care much for the solidity or durability of their 
constructions. A handsome outside, and pompous and spacious rooms, are 
the chief desiderata. Wood is the favourite material, and where this is 



ti 



8 



ARCHITECTURE OF ST. PETERSBURG. 



ARCHITECTURE OF ST. PETERSBURG. 



9 



forbidden by tbe police, bricks are resorted to. Still, upon the whole, a 
huge quantity of granite has found its way from the Finnish swamps to 
the banks of the Neva since St. Petersburg was founded,* and mighty 
blocks that had probably lain imbedded in the marshes for thousands of 
years, now display themselves proudly in the capital of the czars, in the 
shape of monoUths, pillars, cariatides, pedestals, &c. The airy sylphs of 
St. Petersburg, however, seem to have conspired, as much as the gnomes 
of the earth, against the architects of the city. It is quite afflicting to see 
how much the fine granite monuments frequently suffer from the effects 
of the atmosphere. The frosts of winter are particularly destructive. 
The moisture that finds its way during autumn into the pores of the 
stones, freezes in winter, and some of the largest stones are then rent 
and torn, and on the retimi of spring fall asunder. Most of the monu- 
ments of the capital have already suffered from this cause, and in another 
century will probably be falling into ruins. Even the magnificent Alex- 
ander column has in this way received an ugly rent.f 

The Russian aristocracy, in general, do not reside in the central part 
of the town, in the vicinity of the imperial palace. They have been 
banished thence by the invasion of industry and the bustle of trade. It is 
in the Litanaia, and along the sides of tne Fontanka canal, particularly 
the eastern end of it, that the most fashionable residences will be foundf. 
It is there that may be seen the palaces of the Kotshubeys, the Sberemetiefs, 
the Branitzkis, the Narishkins, the chancellors of the empire, the ministers, 
the grandees, and the millionaires, on ground where a century ago nothing 
met the eye but a few huts tenanted by Ingrian fishermen. A quiet and 
magnificent street has since arisen there, and the Orloffs, the Dolgorukis, 
the Stroganoffs, &c., have, it must be owned, displayed taste and judg- 
ment in their choice of a quarter wherein to erect their sumptuous dwellings. 
Their palaces are not crowded together, as in many of our more ancient 
capitals ; on the contrary, nearly every house stands detached from its 
neighbours, with a handsome space in front for carriages to draw up, while 
the apartments within are numerous and spacious. Suites of rooms will 
be found in many of them fitted up as conservatories or winter gardens, a 
species of luxmy in which the aristocracy indulge more perhaps in St. 
Petersburg than in any other city in the world. The largest of these 
winter gardens is at the imperial palace. Sometimes they are fitted up at 
a great expense for a single night, on the occasion of a ball, when the 
dancers may refresh themselves from the labours of pleasure, amid beds of 
flowers, or in arbours of delicious shrubs, cooled by fountains of living 
water. 

The rapidity with which buildings are run up in St. Petersburg is truly 
astonishing. This is partly owing to the shortness of the season, during 
which building operations can be carried on, but partly also to the charac- 
teristic impatience of the Russians to see the termination of a work they 
have once commenced. The new winter palace is one of the most striking 



♦ Some idea may be formed of the immense quantity ef granite brought to St. Pe- 
tersburg, from the fact that the granite quays which enclose the river and the canals 
occupy alone a length of nearly twenty English miles. 

t A note to an article on St. Petersburg in the Foreign Quarterly Review (No. LVI.) 
says : " We have received from St. Petersburg an official report, in which it is stated 
that the supposed fissure has been examined, and has been found to be merely an 
optical illusion." 



examples of this. Within one year not less than twenty milKons of rubles 
were expended upon the building. The operations were not even allowed 
to suffer interruption from the frosts of winter, but fires were kept burning 
every where to prevent the materials fr'oni freezing, and to dry the walls. 
The same system has been acted on with respect to many of the private 
mansions of the nobility. Palaces, in short, are put together with a 
rapidity that can be compared only to that with which theatrical decora- 
tions are arranged. This very rapidity, however, will make the city a 
more easy meal for old Father Time to devour at a fitting season. He 
will have ground the brittle columns of bricks and mortar to powder, some 
thousands of years before his teeth will have been able to make an impres- 
sion on some of the monuments of Egypt. The Russians build only to 
prepare ruins. Indeed, it is painful, m most of their cities, to see the 
early decrepitude of so many buildings of a recent erection. They furnish 
a suitable picture of the precocious civilization of the empire. It must, at 
the same time, be admitted, that similar remarks will apply to the modem 
architecture of other parts of Europe. 

Among the most magnificent ornaments of the mansions of St. Peters- 
burg must not be forgotten the splendid plate glass of their windows. 
In most of the aristocratic saloons there is at least one large window 
composed of a single pane of glass, round which the ladies delight to 
range their work-tables, and their ottomans, whence they gaze out upon 
the animated tableaux vivans of the street. In some houses every window 
is fitted up on the same plan. They ought not, however, to be permitted 
on the ground-floor, for a poor milkmaid, or a porter with a load, passing 
by one of these costly windows, may be ruined by a smgXefauxpa^. 

There is always a great desire shown to avoid architectural disfigure- 
ment. A Grecian temple, or some other fanciful decoration, when more 
closely examined, often tm-ns out to be nothing but a set of painted boards, 
intended to mask some object not likely to please the eye. Sometimes, 
to give a more stately look to a one-floored house, the owner will place upon 
the roof the complete facade of an additional story, which, on nearer 
inspection, is found to be nothing but a mere wall with sham windows, 
the whole being fastened to the rest of the house with massive iron bars. 
Simulated floors of this kind may sometimes have been the work of the 
police, who occasionally order double-floored houses to be built in certain 
streets for the sake of uniformity ; but the same thing may be met with 
in all parts of Russia and Poland, and seems perfectly suited to the cha- 
racter of the Slavonian nations, who are always more ready to promise 
than perform. Even the scaffolding around a house undergoing repair 
must be closed up with boards, and these boards are painted over with 
doors and windows, to cheat the eye into a belief that they compose the 
front of a bona fide house. To see the profusion of pillars and porticoes 
expended on most of the St. Petersburg houses, a stranger might imagine 
himself in Greece or Italy ; but you look in vain for the peripatetics that 
should wander along these stately halls, or for the epicureans that ought 
to be sunning themselves there. Drifts of snow and piercing north winds 
howl among these Ausonian retreats during the greater part of the year, 
and make them as little suited for voluptuous loungers, as the stately 
balconies that are every where seen empty and deserted. 

A Russian is easily tempted to make cnanges in his house, and the con- 
sequence is, that an abundance of building and unbuilding is at all times 



10 



ARCHITECTURE OF ST. PETERSBURG. 



ARCHITECTURE OF ST. PETERSBURG. 



11 



m 



eoinff on in St. Petersburg. A single dinner or a ball often causes a 
house to put on a new face. To augment the suite of rooms, a hole wiU 
perhaps be broken in a wall, and some additional apartments thus be 
pained, or a temporary room will be built over the balcony. The house of 
a genuine Russian rarely remains fourteen days without undergomg some 
change Caprice or ennui will seldom allow Imn to sleep a fortnight m 
the same chamber ; the dining-room and the nursery will every now and 
then be made to change places, the diawing-room will be converted mto 
a dormitory, and the school-room into a gaily decorated temple for 
Terpsichore. The Russians are essentially a nomadic race. The wealthier 
among them seldom spend a year without wanderuig to the extremity of 
their vast empire ; and where circumstances deny them this enjoyment, 
they will find means to indulge their moving propensities, though it be 
only within the walls of their own houses. The police, also, is responsible 
for some of the modifications which the houses of St. Petersburg are con- 
stantly undergoing ; for the police is exceedingly fickle m its tastes and 
partialities. Sometimes it prohibits this or that form of window ; some- 
times it orders that all doors shaU be of a certain description of wood ; 
sometimes it wUl aUow of trapdoors to cellars ; and sometimes it will 
order them all to be removed at a day*s notice. , . r xi. 

The pavement of St. Petersburg, owing to the marshy nature of the 
soO, requires constant repair, and is, therefore, one of the most expensive 
that can be imagined. It is scarcely possible to obtain for it a firm fouuda- 
tion, whatever amount of rubbish or sand may have previously been 
laid down. The moisture pierces through every where. I saw a ndmg- 
school, the bottom of which had been vaulted Uke a cellar, and, upon the 
soUd masonry, sand and rubbish had been laid to the depth of two yards, 
and yet the horses were constantly wading through mud. 

It is not to be denied that the Russian pavements are m general very 
bad. Good-looking enough when just laid down, but calculated rather for 
show than wear. One kmd of pavement, however, is admirable m bt. 
Petersburg ; I mean the wooden pavement, over which the carnages roU 
as smoothly and as noiselessly, as ivory balls over a bUliard-table. This 
kind of pavement, however, which has been adopted only m a few of the 
principal streets, occasions great expense, on account of the constant 
repairs wliich it requires, single blocks sinking every now and then mto the 
watery soil, and leaving dangerous holes beliind. The pavement, however, 
is a matter of less importance here than in most of the European capitals, 
where nature has not provided a spontaneous railroad for the greater part 
of the year. For more than six months the streets of St. Petersburg are 
filled with snow and ice that form a more convement road for man and 
horse than any that art has been able to construct. Itis cunous to observe 
the various metamorphoses which the snow road undergoes as the seasons 
advance. In autumn, vast quantities of snow begin to fall, and he at 
first in loose and formless masses, through which the Russian steeds dash 
fearlessly, scattering showers of sparkling flakes around them m theuj 
progress. Gradually the snow is beaten down, and then forms a beautitul 
soUd Bahn. A gentle thaw tends very much to improve its sohditv ; 
whereas, after a long and severe fmst, the constant trampling of the 
horses reduces the surfa^ie to a fine powder, that often rises m clouds hke 
dust, to the great annoyance of pedestrians. This, of course, happens ^ 
only in the Nevskoi Prospekt, the Gorokhovaia OuUtza, and a few others ot 



the most fi'equented thoroughfares ; in most of the streets, the mass re- 
mains compact throughout the winter. 

On the return of spring, all this undergoes a remarkable change. In 
German cities, the police usually takes care to remove the snow ; but in 
St. Petersburg, owing to the great accumulation in its broad streets, this 
would scarcely be possible. All that the pohce, therefore, does, when the 
thaw sets in in good earnest, is to cut trenches through the icy mass to 
allow the water to run off in proportion as the snow melts. It is not 
difficult to imagine the filthy state in which the streets necessarily remain 
under these circumstances. The month of May is in general far advanced, 
when the pavement still presents nothing to the eye but a lake of mud, with 
a dirty stream of water rolling through the centre, where the gutter is 
invariably constructed. The horses are often all but swimming, and a 
man may sometimes be thankful if he can get fi-om the house-door into 
his carriage without an accident. This season must be a regular harvest 
time for the brushmakers. The lackeys and shoeblacks are heard to groan 
aloud over the condition of their masters* boots and cloaks, and to swear 
that they never hired themselves for such dirty work. A sudden return of 
fi'ost often restores the whole mass to a soUd substance. The streets are 
then covered again with ice, on which many an over-driven horse is 
doomed to break a limb. 

A Russian isvoshtshik prefers his sledge to every other kind of vehicle, 
and continues to use it as long as an apology for snow is to be found in 
the streets. The consequence is, that sledges will often be seen on the 
shady side, when on the sunny side nothing but a wheeled carriage is able 
to get along. 

The dust in summer is intolerable, as in most Russian towns, and owing 
to the same reasons : the immense width of the streets, and the vast, open, 
unpaved squares or places that every where abound, leaving the wind to 
exercise its power without control. If in some of our closely built 
European cities the want of open spaces is felt as an evil, the Russian 
cities, and St. Petersburg in particular, may be said to have gone into the 
other extreme. The unnecessary space allowed for their streets makes it 
almost impossible to light them at night, or to obtain shade in them by 
day. During summer no lamps are necessary, the streets being then nearly 
as light at midnight as in London at noon, and the long days that prevail 
one half of the year are perhaps in part answerable for the imperfect manner 
in which the streets are lighted during the long winter-nights. The small 
oil-lamps, then lighted, are large enough to be seen themselves, but not 
to make other objects visible. They are placed at the sides of the street, 
whence their rays are scarcely able to reach the centre. They diffuse 
light only to a distance of about four paces, and when seen from a more 
remote point look only like little stars. The broad long streets on a clear 
night look pretty enough with their double rows of little stars, but these 
serve more for ornament than use. In the Nevskoi Prospekt, indeed, there 
is no lack of illumination, the shops being for the most part brilliantly 
Hghted up, but in some streets even the gHmmering oil-lamps are wanting, 
and in such a neighbourhood the poor wanderer is grateful for the little 
light that may escape from some social sitting-room, of which the shutters 
have been charitably left unclosed. 

Notwithstanding this gloomy darkness the streets are not wanting in 
life, though it is often not without positive danger that a pedestrian can 



12 



ARCHITECTURE OF ST. PETERSBURG. 



vcuture from one side to the other. Sledges are evciy moment seen to 
emerge from obscurity and to plunge again as rapidly into impenetrable 
gloom. Huge shadows seem to be pursuing each other over the snow, 
the incessant cry of the drivers, " Padye^ padye ! beregissa .'" serving 
them as a mutual warning. The skill and care of these drivers are really 
deserving of g^reat praise ; for accidents, after all, are of rare occurrence. 
The quiet character of the Russians is shown by the great rarity of nmrders 
and acts of violence during these long dark winter-nights. Not that 
anecdotes are wanting of the rogueries of isvoshtshiks, butshniks, and 
platniks ; but the darkness is so pitchy, that that alone is enough to con- 
jure up all sorts of stories; and I believe that if a city with 500,000 
Italians or Spaniards, or even London or Paris, were left for eight long 
arctic nights enveloped in a St. Petersburgian obscurity, on the ninth day 
there would be found so many perforated walls, and so many killed and 
wounded people in the streets, that the town would look as though it had 
been occupied by a foreign enemy after a battle. 

Three ineffectual attempts have been made to light the city with gas. 
The first was during Alexander's reign ; when, just as all the arrange- 
ments were complete, the buildings caught fire, and the plan was aban- 
doned for some years. The second attempt was made after the accession 
of the present emperor. The high and ungainly building intended for 
the gasometer was injudiciously placed near the Winter Palace, and 
formed so prominent a deformity, that the emperor was glad in 1838 to 
buy up the whole of the premises belonging to the company, for the pur- 
pose of having them pulled down. The company then went to work again, 
and in the autumn of 1839, when people were beginning to look forward to 
a light winter, the whole illumination was opened and closed on the same 
day by a frightfid explosion, by wliich the gasometer was destroyed, a 
number of people killed, and the money of the shareholders lost. Since 
then the attempt has not been renewed. 

The huge placards and the colossal letters by which the tradesmen 
of London and Paris seek to attract public attention, are imknown in 
St. Petersburg. The reading public there is extremely limited, and the 
merchant who wishes to recommend himself to the multitude must have 
recourse to a less lettered process. This accounts for the abundance of 
pictorial illustrations that decorate so many of the shopfronts, or advertise 
the passenger that such and such an artist may be found within. The 
optician announces his calling by a profuse display of spectacles and tele- 
scopes ; the butcher suspends in front of his establishment a couple of 
painted oxen, or perhaps a portrait of himself, in the act of presenting a 
ruddy joint to a passing dame. These signs, that speak tne only mute 
language intelligible to a Russian multitude, reheve in some measure the 
monotony of the streets. The baker is sure to have a board over his 
door with a representation of every species of roll and loaf offered for 
sale in his shop ; the tallowchandler is equally careful to suspend the 
portraits of all his varieties of longs and shorts destined for the enlighten- 
ment of mankind. The musician, the pastrycook, and in short every 
handicraftsman to whom the humbler classes are likely to apply, have 
adopted the same plan, and from the second and third floors huge pictures 
may sometimes be seen suspended, with appalling likenesses of fiddles, 
flutes, tarts, sugarplums, sausages, smoked hams, coats, caps, shoes, 
stockings, &c. 



ARCHITECTURE OF ST. PETERSBURG. 



13 



. ^f. ^ .barber the customary symbol is the foUowing picture : A lady 
sits fainting m a chair. Before her stands the man of science with a 
gbttenng lancet in his hand, and from her snow white arm a purple 
tountam spnngs into the air, to fall afterwards into a basin held by an 
attendant youth. By the side of the lady sits a phlegmatic phUosopher 
undergoing the operation of shaving, without manifesting the slightest 
sympathy for the fair sufferer. Around the whole is a kind of arabesque 
border composed of black leeches and instruments for drawing teeth. This 
picture is of frequent occurrence in every large Russian town. The most 
characteristic of these signs appeared to me that of a midwife. A bed 
with the curtains closely drawn announced the invisible presence of the 
accouchee, and in front was a newly-arrived stranger on the lap of the 
accoucheuse, and undergoing, to his manifest discomfiture, the infliction of 
his hrsi toilet. Most of these pictures are very tolerably executed, and 
that of a Pansian milliner is particularly entitled to commendation for the 
art expended on the gauze caps, and the lace trimmings. Nor must it be 
supposed that the merchant is content with displaying only one or two of 
the articles in which he deals ; no, the whole shop must figure on the board, 
and not only the dealer, but his customers also must be portrayed there. 
1 he coffeehouse-keeper does not think he has done enough when he has 
displayed a steaming kettle and a graceful array of cups ; he must have a 
whole party making themselves comfortable over their coffee and cio-arg, 
and crying to the wavering passenger, " Go thou, and do Hkewise." ^The 
jeweller must have not only rings and stars and crosses, but he must have 
generals and excellencies as large as life, with their-breasts blazing with 
orders, and at least five fingers on each hand laden with rings. The 
Russians attach gi-eat importance to these signs, and a stranger may ob- 
tarn from them some knowledge of the manners of the people. 



CHAPTER m. 



THE NEVA. 



T ?^ nver Neva serves to carry off the surplus waters of the Ladoga 
Lake. In this large reservoir, which covers a space of about 100 Ger- 
man (2000 English) square miles, the water has had full leisure to 
deposit all its impunties, and has not had time to coUect any fresh ones, 
during the few leagues that intervene between the lake and the city. 
Ihe water of the Neva, therefore, at St. Petersburg is as clear as crystal, 
and remmds the traveller of the appearance of the Rhine when it first 
issues from among the icy grottoes of the Alpine glaciers. About a 
league from its mouth, the Neva divides into several arms, forming thus 
a httle archipelago of islands, which are either included within the city of 
fet. Petersburg, or contribute to its embellishment by their gardens and 
plantations. These anns of the Neva, at least the four principal among 
Ihem, are known by the names of the Great and Little Neva, and the 



14 



THE NEVA. 



Great and Liiitle Nefka ; and though there are few rivers that may not 
be said to benefit the cities built upon their banks, vet it may safely be 
said, that there is no city more indebted to its river than the Palmyra of 
the North. From the interior of the empire the Neva brings to her 
capital the native abundance of the land ; food for man, and for the animals 
dependent on man, materials for clothing, housing, and warming him. 
At her mouth she receives the luxuries of foreign regions, and conveys 
them not only to the noble palaces on her own banks, but, by means of 
an extensive system of inland navigation, she transports them into the 
most central provinces of the vast Russian empire. She furnishes the 
first necessary of life, in the highest perfection, to the citizens of St. 
Petersburg, who are without any other supply of water, for a pure spnng 
is not to be met with for many leagues around. She makes their soup, 
and prepares the very best of tea and coffee for them. She yields an 
abundance offish for their banquets, and does not disdain to render them 
even the most menial services; she washes their bodies and their Hnen, and 
winding through their city in a multitude of canals, carries away all its 
impurities. The water of the Neva is as daily a topic with those that 
dwell on its banks, as the water of the Nile is to the Egyptians ; and this 
is the less surprising, as the Neva is a source, not only of delight and 
enjoyment to the people of St. Petersburg, but also one of constant anxiety, 

and sometimes of terror. /. i. xt • • 

The northern winter imprisons the lovely nymph of the Neva in icy 
bands for six months in the year. It is seldom till after the beginning of 
April that the water acquires sufficient warmth to burst her prison. The 
moment is always anxiously expected, and no sooner have the dirty masses 
of ice advanced sufficiently to display as much of the bright mirror of the 
river as may suffice to bear a boat from one side to the other, than the 
glad tidings are announced to the inhabitants by the artillery of the 
fortress. At that moment, be it day or night, the commandant of the 
fortress, arrayed in all the insignia of his rank, and accompanied by the 
officers of his suite, embarks in an elegant gondola, and repairs to 
the emperor's palace which lies immediately opposite. He fills a large 
crystal goblet with the water of the Neva, and presents it to the emperor 
as the first and most precious tribute of returning spring. He informs 
his master that the force of winter has been broken, that the waters are 
free again, that an active navigation may now again be looked for, and 
points to his own gondola, as the first swan that has swum on the nver 
that year. He then presents the goblet to the emperor, who drinks it off 
to the health of the dear citizens of his capital. There is not probably on 
the face of the globe, another glass of water that brings a better price, 
for it is customary for the emperor to fill the goblet with ducats before he 
retui-ns it to the commandant. Such at least was the custom ; but the 
goblet was found to have a sad tendency to enlarge its dimensions,^ so 
that the emperor began to perceive that he had every year a larger dose 
of water to drink, and a greater number of ducats to pay for it. At last 
he thought it high time to compromise matters with his commandant, 
who now receives on each occasion a fixed sum of 200 ducats. Even 
this, it must be admitted, is a truly imperial fee for a draught of wate^ 
but the compromise is said to have effectually arrested the alarming growth 
of the goblet. 

As the close of winter approaches, the ice of the Neva assumes a very 



THE NEVA. 



15 



remarkable appearance resolving itself into a multitude of thin bars of 
ice, of about an inch in diameter, and equal in length to the thickness of 
the crust that covers the river. These bars have at last so little adhesion, 
that it becomes dangerous to venture on the ice, except where it is covered 
by a solid mass of snow. The foot, pushing down some of these bars, 
will sink at times through ice several ells thick, and the large masses 
of ice apparently quite solid, that lie on the dry ground, break into 
a multitude of glassy bars when gently touched with a stick. Several 
weeks, therefore, before the ice breaks up, all driving or walking upon 
it is prohibited. Here and there some open spaces begin to show 
themselves, and a quantity of dirty snow-water collects upon the sur- 
face. The icy crust, that, a few weeks previously, had looked so gay 
and animated with its sledges and promenaders, becomes now quite op- 
pressive to look upon, and every one longs to see the dirty, useless, worn- 
out servitor take his departure. There has often been fine warm weather 
for several weeks before the Neva shows the least sign of recovering her 
liberty, for which, in the end, she is usually more indebted to rain and 
wind than to the rays of the sun. One good shower, at this season, has 
more effect upon the ice than three days of sunshine ; and it is rarely till 
after there have been several rainy and windy days in succession, that the 
ice is got into motion. The surest symptom of an approaching break-up 
is the disappearance of the water from the surface. As long as there is 
water on the ice, nobody hesitates to venture on it, even when the horses 
have to wade breast high ; but as soon as the water disappears, the fact is 
taken as a warning that the ice has separated from the .banks, and has 
become too porous to retain water on its surface. 

It is generally between the 6th and the 14th of April (old style), or 
between the 18th and the 26th, according to the calendar in use in most 
parts of Europe, that the Neva throws off her icy covering. The 6th is 
the most general day. On that day the interesting fact is said to occur, 
on an average, ten times in a century, so that ten to one against the 6th 
is always thought a fair wager. The 30th of April (12th of May, N. S.) 
is considered the latest day, and the 6th of March (18th N. S.) is con- 
sidered the earliest day on which the ice ever breaks up. On each of 
these days the occurrence is supposed to take place once in a hundred 
years. — It is generally about the middle of November, and more frequently 
on the 20th (2d of Dec. N. S.) than on any other day, that the ice is 
brought to a stand still. In 1826 the river was not frozen up before the 
14th of December, and in 1805 as early as the 16th of October. 

The breaking up of the ice is an anxious moment to every one. A 
multitude of wagers are always depending upon it, and every one is more 
or less interested. The carpenters and workpeople long to earn an honest 
penny or two by the reconstruction of the bridges ; the ladies wish the 
Neva and the Gulf of Finland clear, that the steamer from Liibeck may 
arrive with the latest nouveautes from Paris ; the merchants are often in 
the most painful suspense, lest a protracted winter, by delaying the arrival 
of their vessels, should mar the finest speculations ; booksellers and students 
are longing for a supply of the new books that have been ushered into life 
in England, France, and Germany, during the preceding six months. The 
sick native, and the home-sick stranger, are ahke anxious for the day that 
may re-establish the communication with more genial climes, and almost 
the only subject of speculation at this season, is the day when the river 



16 



THE NEVA. 



THE NEVA. 



17 



t'^;^%rujTof^>o.is are ,uickly in motion to re-establ.h the 
Its gA<>^ ^" between the different quarters of the city. , , ., • 

-^t^z^Zr. than ^ ^^^fi-^f^:^,:,Tiz\i:ti: 

nptaU.thebatao^ p't^^i KtCovel atroa the first day The ice 
diate vicmityof ^'- ^f^"'''^^! V e„tlv come^^ down afterwards m huge 

breadth and not very rapid m ''' ^w" tlei^fore, that the greater part 
months of incessant Eu^ffang. I* ^ '°^=' *f,;u °^^ enough remains for 
of the ice must melt -f " ^^^IJ^^,' ^ho ^Tf^n ineo^ by 

the lake. f .i.„ RoWp ire usually free from ice before that 

All the other harbours '>^ ^^J^'^Jg'^^^'Jmost always awaiting, in 

of St. Petersburg, and a number ?\^^f '^^y^f^R^^sian capital has been 

the So-d, the news th^ the n^^^^^^^^^^ , , 

'^Xrjoicig TntXm^ fauLo bring its ca^go to - exceUf ^^^^^ 
^ r °%rSlvt\eTratt"i:T; ^:L^rirnd wealthy . who 

Lido^rfiuToS^ ti: first <^>^^^is^':::^i:iz^ 

prices. The first ship .s soon /""f^J^^rt U the flS of Europe come 
£fe succeeds to a stillness "^V * r^S and rSdely-buft barges ^descend 
floating in from the se^ and fragile afts and ^^ely b ^^ J ^^^^ ^^^^_ 
the river with the products "^ J^e mt^rwr. ine ^^^^^ 

houses find their way on sh.p-board. ^ he sh P' ^^ ^^„y steamers 

complete. . _-„„^.^e^i in Russian housekeeping. 

An immense quantity of ice is ^^J\^^"^7^ '"^ . ^^^^3 ^f every Russian 
Throughout the summer, ices are ^f ^/^ *^^^^^^^^^ but ev^n iced tea 
town, id not only iced wa^^^^^^^ ^^^Jbe 1^^^^^^ hot summer 

is drunk in immense quantities. J^f^ ^^^^^^^ ^^^ ^^^ the winter pro- 
would spoil most of the food brought to ''^l^J^'Xstsuch rapid decom- 
vided i^ abundance ^^^^eto^lt^ SfspeSble V^^age 
position. An icehouse is therefore looked on as a ^ ^^^^ ^^ 

not merely to the estabhshments of the wealthy, but even 



the peasants. In St. Petersburg alone there are said to be ten thousand 
lee-houses, and it may easily be supposed that to fill all these cellars is a 
task of no trifling magnitude. It is not too much to calculate that each 
ice-house, on an average, requires fifty sledge loads of ice to fill it. The 
fishmongers, butchers, and dealers in quass have such enormous cellars, 
tliat niauy hundreds of loads will go into them, and the breweries, dis- 
tilleries, &c., consume incalculable quantities. According to the above 
calculation, 500,000 sledge loads of ice would have to be drawn out of the 
Neva every year, but this calculation is under rather than over the mark. 
It is certainly the merchandize in which the most extensive traffic is ear- 
ned on during winter. Whole processions of sledges laden with the glit- 
tering crystals may then be seen ascending from the Neva, and thousands 
of men are incessantly at work raising the cooling produce from its parent 
river. ^ 

Tlie breaking of the ice is carried on in this way. The workmen begin 
by clearing the snow away from the surface, that they may cleariy trace 
out the form of the blocks to be detached. They then measure off a large 
parallelogram, and mark the outline with a hatchet This paraUelogram 
IS subdivided into a number of squares of a size to suit the capacity of their 
sledges. When the drawing is complete, the more serious part of the 
work begins. A regular trench has to be formed round the paraUelogram 
111 question. This is done with hatchets, and as the iee is frequently four 
or five feet thick, the trenches become at last so deep that the work- 
men are as completely lost to the eye as if they had been labouring in a 
mine. Of course, a sufficient thickness of ice must be left in the trenches 
to bear the workmen, which is afterwards broken with bars of iron. When 
the parallelogram has thus been loosened, the subdivision is effected with 
comparative ease. A number of men mount the swimming mass, and with 
their pointed iron ice-breakers, they all strike at the same moment upon 
the line that has been marked out. A few volleys of this kind make the 
ice break just along the wished for line, and each of the oblong slips thus 
obtained, is broken up again into square pieces after a similar fashion. To 
draw the fragments out of the water, a kind of inclined railroad has to be 
made on the side of the standing ice. This done, iron hooks are fastened 
into the pieces that are to be landed, and, amid loud cheers, the clear, 
gi-een, crystalline mass is drawn up by walling hands. As the huge lumps 
lie on the snow, they appear of an emerald green, and are remarkably 
compact, without either bubble or rent. As soon as the sledge is loaded, 
the driver seats him^lf upon his merchandize, and thus, coolly enthroned, 
glides away to the cellars of his customers, enlivening his frosty occu- 
pation with a merry song. It is by no means without interest to visit the 
ice-shafts of the Neva, and watch the Russian labourers while engaged in 
a task so congenial to the habits of then" country. 

In the cellars the ice is piled up with much art and regularity, and afl 
sorts of shelves and niches are made, for the convenience of placing milk, 
meat, and similar articles there in hot weather. Such a description at 
least appHes to what may be caUed a tidy orderly ice-house ; but tidiness 
and order do not always preside over Russian arrangements, and in the 
majority of cellars the ice is tlirown carelessly in and broken into pieces, 
that it may be packed away into the comers, and that as little space as 
possible may be left unoccupied. The consistency and durability of the 

c 



18 



THE NEVA 



THE NEVA. 



19 



I 



w^ Tf ma.v safelv be estimated that the ice consumed in St. Petersburg 
tfng tKmmS costs the inhabitants from two to three mdl,ons of 

*" ptLanent bridges have been built in St. Petersburg only over the 

rmZtro^deSVreSt accidents; and whereas in Germany a man 
I Se to a fine of two or tliree dollars for driving too fast o,;er a bndge 
IS hable to a ?°| """^ , ^g „ot only himself but his horses too 

: Tf::Zrh%^t^eX^Z\icen.^r^ -A^ neglects to drive over a 
to be assailed by tiie cane ui mc ^^ bride-es, and amonff 

S'nsof the city for 'f ^r^t^T::SB'^£•i ^tzW^ 
Sre connected only by one bridge, the Isaac s Bridge j,tM ^ 

the only bridge between the Great Side and the »'• J'^t^f^^ J^ t^e 

VassiU 'Ostrof again has one bndge to *«^^'gf *^3^ 

Vaborg Side \connectedl«. one brieve wi^^^^^^^ ^^^^^^ ^ J 

nnottrhf;/:nf r ihTL^^^^^^^^ Cronstadt is broken by 

afterwards. The »™^«X^^;^,d i„ an unbroken bodv towards 
mass of ice in the nver to guae "o'"'"'"^ , . j^^^^g ^ould 

•the giflf This pressing '^XlfficX ^s tCmaX characl^ of the 

J^iCtrStToid^ott^t; S^^ ouormous^cost, to obtain a 



foundation sufficiently strong to bear the buttresses of a bridge. These 
are serious difficulties, no doubt, but I am satisfied they will some day or 
other be overcome. 

The nine pontoon bridges of St. Petersburg are so constructed, that 
they may easily be taken to pieces, and quickly be put together again. 
During summer they remain undisturbed, each pontoon moored to its 
anchor, and fastened to huge piles ; but when the ice begins to come down 
the river in autumn, the bridges are taken asunder. Each bridge has its 
commandant with a hundred or two of workmen under his command. 
WTien the bridge has thus been removed, the intercourse between the dif- 
ferent portions of the city can be carried on only by means of boats. As 
soon as the ice stands the bridges are reconstructed, for the ice on the 
Neva always forms a very rough surface, for which reason most people 
prefer using the bridges when they wish to cross the river. Not but a 
number of paths, crossing each other In all directions, are soon formed in 
the vast snowy desert. 

In spring, the bridges continue to be used till the artillery of the for- 
tress announces the breaking up of the Ice, Avhen they rapidly disappear 
under the dexterous management of the commandants and their expe- 
rienced assistants. Preparations have usually been made some days 
before, by clearing a space in the river, to allow the pontoons to glide 
safely down into their several havens of refuge. As soon as the ice 
has passed, the bridges are restored, but every succeeding arrival of ice 
makes another demolition necessary. Such Is the eagerness of the inhabitants 
of the different quarters to be able to avail themselves of the accom- 
modation of their bridges, that they take advantage even of the shortest 
mterval of open water. Each time that the Isaac's bridge is put together, 
an expense of several hundred rubles is Incurred ; nevertheless, I have seen 
it taken to pieces and put together again two or three times on one day, 
and in the course of one spring it is said to have been broken up and 
reconstructed no less than twenty-three times. 

On these occasions, the boldness and dexterity of the workmen, the 
activity of the commandant, the formidable masses of ice, the bridges 
themselves floating down the stream, and a multitude of little occur- 
rences that take place, combine to form an Interesting and animated 
spectacle. Sometimes, of course, accidents happen. Thus in the spring 
of 1836, the Isaac's Bridge, the most important of all, got aground and 
coidd not be brought afloat again. A violent gale from the east, it was 
said, had blown so much of the water out Into the gulf, that the river had 
lost Its requisite depth. Others were charitable enough to say that the 
commandant had accepted a bribe from the contractors who farm the 
boats on the river. Be this as It may, the bridge continued aground for 
eight days, the boats made a splendid harvest, and the commandant was 
threatened with arrest and a court of inquiry. At last the master of 
pohce interfered. Tliree hundred men were sent up to their necks into 
the water, to pull away at the pontoons, while others worked away 
behind with levers and iron bars. Screaming, creaking, bending, and 
breaking, the bridge was at last lifted by main force, as it were, out of the 
marsh, and floated majestically back to its accustomed station. 

It may easily be supposed that St. Petersburg has to pay dearly enough 
for these wretched wooden bridges. The constant deinoUtion and recon- 
struction soon wear the wood out, and the boards at the top are quickly 

c 2 



20 



THE NEVA. 



THE NEVA. 



21 



worn to dust by the carriages incessantly passmg across It is not at aU 
impossible that the Isaac's Bridge, during, the short period of -t^ e^stence, 
has cost more than the massive bridge of Dresden dunng the tliree hun- 
dred years that have elapsed since it was built. 

wC in its bridgeles's condition, the city feels itself at all tnncs very 
uncomfortable. St. Petei^burg may then be said to be dw>«led into a^ 
many towns as there are islands; relations can loarn as httle from each 
Xr for days together, as if an ocean divided them instead of a nver; 
the public oLers can receive no orders from tho central ad"iin.stration 
and must act on their own judgment and responsibility , merchants cannot 
confer together, bills cannot be presented, teachers cannot give their es- 
sons, guelts cannot join the festive board, and the tsvoshtshtks can circulate 
only within a limited range. Business and pleasure are abke Interrupted, 
and every one longs to be delivered from what is felt as a species of im- 
prisonment The consequence is, that in autumn, when the 'cy eovenng 
is yet in the weakness of its infancy, and in spring, when it begins to tall 
into the decrepitude of age, a number of contrivances are had recou^e to, 
in order to strengthen it. The very moment the ^/''^"•l^' ,=*':'^™J 
are laid in every direction over the stiU disjoined fragments; and m 
sprinff, boards are laid over the dangerous places, as long as the police 
Slow these supplementary bridges to be used. When the autW.es 
consider the time is come to prohibit all passage across the ice, policemen 
are stationed every where along the sides of the river, to enforce die pro- 
hibition. The messages to be canied across are, however, sometimes ot 
sich importance, and the rewards offered so great, that the Russian 
mushiks often venture across, in defiance of the police, even when the ice 
is on the move. The adventurous messenger, on such occasions, armea 
only with a deal board, may be seen dexterously crossmg from one piece 
of ice to another, to the great amusement of the spectators on the quays, 
and eenerally he escapes, not only the dangers of the passage, but abo 
the iSore dreaded dangers to be apprehended from the gendarmes waiting 
for him on the shore. Sometimes, of course, these hazardous attempts are 
attended by fatal consequences, and every year the Neva is sure to swal- 
low UP her allotted number of victims ; indeed, it may be doubted whether 
there is another city in the worid, where so many people are yearly 

drowned, as at St. Petersburg. . /• ^ • u i-f 1 

It is melancholy to think of the fate probably reserved for this beautifjd 
youthful city, with all its splendid creations. There ^e cit.es m the worid 
of which a large portion might be destroyed to their manifest advantage; 
but in the new and cheerful St. Petersbuig, every act of destruction, 
whether by the hand of nature or of man, seems calculated to awaken 
sorrow anJ regret. Yet such are the destructive powers by which its ex- 
istence is threatened, that no other city probably lives m such constant and 
imminent peril. 

• Tlie Dresden Bridge, kno«-n to the inhabitants under the name of the Elbe 
•Rridw. is 1420 feet long, or 200 feet longer than Waterloo Bridge. The lilbe 
Bridf^' is considered the finest and longest structure of the kind in Germany. It 
?esVs on s'xTeen arches, is thirty-six feet in width, and has a foot pavement and 
11, iron balustrade on cai=h side. On the centre pier »'?"<»%» b>-'>"?«^™^'f^;,'"* 
an inscriDtion in commemoration of the partial destruction of the bridge in 1813, to 
StatTthe rarSHf the French under Marslial Davoust, and of its restoration by 
the Emperor Alexander. 



The Gulf of Finland runs from St. Petersburg in a due westerly di- 
rection, and it is exactly from that quarter that the heaviest storms always 
blow. The west wind naturally sweeps the waters up towards the city. 
If the gulf were broad at its termination, this would perhaps be of little 
consequence ; but, unfortunately, the gulf narrows gradually to a point, 
and that point is St. Petersburg. When a gale, therefore, blows from the 
west, the waters of the gulf are blown into the Neva, and oppose the exit 
of those that come rolling down from the lake. Now the Delta of the 
Neva, into which the palaces of St. Petersburg liave struck their roots, is 
flat and low, and there is scarcely a spot of ground in the capital that lies 
more than twelve or fourteen feet above the customary level of the sea. A 
rise of fifteen feet is, therefore, enough to put the whole city under water, 
and a rise of thirty or forty feet would be enough to drown nearly the 
whole population. The poor inhabitants are thus in constant danger, 
and can seldom be certain that within the next twenty-four hours, 
the whole 500,000 of them will not be swept at once into a watery 
grave. 

All that is necessary to bring about such a calamity is that a storm 
from the west should arise just as the ice is breaking up, and that this 
should happen when the water in the river is at its highest. The masses 
of ice blown from the sea into the river would then meet those that would 
be coming down, and the struggle between these opposing powers would 
suffice to raze to the ground the whole city and all its proud palaces, and 
princes and beggars would be drowned promiscuously, like Pharaoh and 
his host in the Red Sea. The matter is so serious, that I don't feel cer- 
tain whether I ought to allow myself to speak so sportively about it. The 
people of St. Petersburg are quite aware of their danger, and many 
among them, when they reflect on it, feel their hearts heaving within them. 
Their only hope is that the three events, a westerly storm, high water, 
and Eisgang, are not likely to occur simultaneously. There are sixty- 
four points of the compass, they say, and when it is high water, and the 
ice coming down, it is not very probable that an obstinate west wind should 
choose just that moment to blow in upon us to our destruction. 

It is not the less true, however, that, during the spring, it does often 
blow from the west for many days together, when the swimming ice is 
still formidable enough to excite serious alarm. It is to be regretted 
that the Fins, the ancient inhabitants of the Delta of the Neva, should 
not have kept meteorological registers, from which we might calculate how 
often in a thousand years, or perhaps in ten thousand years, the dreaded 
junction of these three circumstances has usually occurred. As it is, we 
must not be surprised, if we read one of these days in the newspapers, 
that St. Petersburg, which rose so suddenly, like a brilliant meteor from 
the Finnish marshes, has sunk as suddenly, and been extinguished there 
like an ignis fatuus. May God have the city in his keeping. 

Human aid can be of no avail. Little as Russian enterprise is disposed 
to be deterred by difficulties, it will scarcely undertake to dam off the 
ocean, or to give to a mighty river a new course. Canals to carry away 
the waters of the Neva, and moles to serve as ramparts against the sea, 
have sometimes been spoken of, but practical men have always rejected 
the proposed plans as impossible of execution. Nothing, therefore, has, 
as yet, been done, and St. Petersburg continues exposed to the mercy of 
the winds and waves. In many quarters of the town, inundations are of 



22 



THE NEVA* 



THE NEVA. 



23 



frequent occurrence, and come so suddenly, that the assembled giiests at 
a party are not unfrequently unable to leare the hospitable roof under 
which they have been entertained. Water is quite as much dreaded m 
St Petersburg as fire is in other cities, and measures are, therefore, taken 
to inform the inhabitants of their danger the moment the river begins to 
rise above its customary level. When the extreme pomts of the islands 
are under water, a cannon is fired from the Admiralty, and the water-flap 
are hoisted on every steeple, as a signal that the Nereids have declared the 
city in a state of siege. This alarm-gun is repeated every hour, until the 
danger seems to be at an end. When the river rises sufticiently high to 
lav the lowest streets under water, the alarm-gun is fired every .quarter ot 
an hour. In proportion as the river rises, the artillery becomes louder and 
more importunate, tiU at last minute-guns are fired, and are undertsood aa 
a cry of despair, calling upon ships and boats to hasten to the aid ot a 

drowning population. . -u^ki^ 

The misery that follows upon a general inundation is indescribable. 
Every one still talks of the sufferings and calamities brought upon the city 
by the disastrous 17th of November, 1824. On that day, there occurred 
the highest inundation of which a record has been preserved and m every 
street the height to which the river rose is still marked. The water rose 
quite quietly, as is usually the case with the mundations of St. Petersburg, 
where there are no dykes to break through. Impelled by a furious west wmd, 
the water continued to rise higher and higher, came streaming through 
the streets, lifted aU the carts and equipages from the ground, rushed in 
miehty cataracts through the windows and into the ceUars, and rose m 
hule columns from the common sewers. On Vasdiefskoi Island and on 
the St. Petersburg side the suffering was greatest, particularly on the latter 
island, where many of the poor were lodged in tenements of no very sohd 
construction. Some of the wooden houses were lifted from the ground 
and continued to swim about with all their inhabitants in them, and with- 
out ffoinff to pieces. Equipages were abandoned in the streets, and the 
horses, unable to disengage themselves from their harness, were miserably 
drowned, while their masters had sought safety in some more elevated 
spot The trees in the pubUc squares were as crowded with men as they 
had 'ever before been with sparrows. Still the water kept nsing and to- 
wards evening had attained such a height, that it was feared the storm 
would tear the men of war from their moorings and drive them m among 
the houses. The calamity was the more destructive as it had come so 
noiselessly upon the city, that none had imagined the danger so great 
as it really was. The worst effects were those that were operated unseen. 
Many houses fell in only on the following day, when the nver had aheady 
returned into its accustomed bed ; but from those that remained standing, 
it was long before the damp could be expelled. Sickness became general, 
and deadly epidemics contmued to rage in some quarters for many weeks 

The night was terrible. The waters had continued to rise till the 
evening, and should they continue to do so, there seemed to be no chance 
of escape during the pitchy darkness that might be looked for. Thousands 
of fam&es, the members of which were separated, spent the night m tor- 

^vln the^most serious things have often a ludicrous side on which they 
may be viewed, and along with the gloomy recollections of that calamitous 



day, a variety of amusing anecdotes have also been preserved. A gardener 
told me that he had been busy clipping some trees, and had not noticed 
the rising of the water, till it was too late for him to attempt to seek 
refuge any where but on the roof of an adjoining garden pavilion, where he 
was soon joined by such a host of rats and mice, that he became appre- 
hensive of being devoured by them. Fortunately, however, a dog and a 
cat sought refuge in the same place. With these he immediately entered 
into an offensive and defensive aUiance, and the three confederates were 
able to make good their position during the night. 

A merchant of my acquaintance was looking out of his window on the 
second floor, when there came floating by a fragment of a bridge, with 
three human beings clinging to it. They stretched out their hands to 
him for help. He threw out a rope, and, with the assistance of his servant, 
succeeded in rescuing them all three from then* perilous position. The 
first whom they landed was a poor Jew who trembled like an aspen-tree, 
the second was a bearded believer in the orthodox Russian Greek church, 
the third a bareheaded Mahometan Tartar. My protestant friend 
equipped them all three in his Parisian coats and in linen of the latest 
London fashion, for which they were all well pleased to exchange the 
drenched costumes of their several nations ; and after this unexpected meta- 
morphosis, the host entertained his grateful guests with a truly Christian 
and refreshing supper. 

Many believe that what with merchandise spoiled, houses destroyed, 
furniture injured, damage to the pavement, &c., this inundation cost the 
city more than a hundred million of rubles, and that directly and indi- 
rectly several thousands of the inhabitants lost their Uves on the occasion. 
In every street the highest point attained by the water is marked by a Une 
on the sides of the houses. God grant that the house-painters may never 
again be employed in so melancholy an office. Every inch that they 
might have had to place their marks higher, would have cost the 
city several millions more, and would have plunged at least a hundred 
more families into mourning. 

The purity of the Neva water has already been mentioned, yet it is a 
well known fact, that when drunk by strangers it produces at first un- 
pleasant effects, for which reason persons, when they first arrive at St. 
Petersburg, are always advised to drink no water without mixing wine or 
spirit with it. This lasts, however, for a very short time ; and once accus- 
tomed to the Neva water, most people grow so fond of it, that they prefer 
it to every other water in the world. A St. Petersburger, on returning 
from a journey, always congratulates himself on being again able to slake 
his thirst in the water of his beloved river, and many a Russian, no doubt, 
has been welcomed home again in the same way in which I once saw a 
young man welcomed on his return to his family, — namely, with a goblet 
of Neva water. The Emperor Alexander, it is said, when he travelled, 
always had a quantity of Neva water bottled up for his own drinking 
during his absence from his capital. The tea and coffee in St. Petersburg 
are excellent, and their good quaUties are in part attributed to the water 
with which they are prepared. In the shape of beer it is drunk in every 
comer of the empire, and the English residents are unanimous in their 
testimony to the superiority of Neva water for washing linen. 

The Neva water is, however, the only usable water within reach of St. 
Petersbiu-g. All the wells that have been simk in and near the city 



24 



tup: NEVA. 



yield nothing but a yellow disagreeable water, unfit for any domestic 
purposes. In none of the liouses is the water laid on by means of pipes, 
but in each house there is a large water-butt, and tlie men, whose exclu- 
»?e business it is to fill these reservoirs, are busily engaged all day long 
with their water-carts, drawn generally each by one horse. The poorer 
classes fetch their water from the river-side in pails. These are fastened 
to long poles, that the water may be drawn as far as possible from the 
bank, for in the middle of the stream the water is of course purer than 
near the side. In the winter, holes are hewn in the ice, whence the 
water is pumped up, and troughs are constructed of ice in the streets for 
the use of the horses. In spring, when the snow melts, the river, for a 
time, loses its accustomed purity, and the want of clean water becomes a 
subject of general lamentation. The water-carts plying in every direc- 
tion, form one of the constant decorations of the St. Petersburg streets. 
Perhaps one of the most useful innovations that a Russian emperor coidd 
introduce into the interior organization of his capital, would be a good 
water-company, that would lay down pipes throughout the city, and in- 
troduce a constant supply of so necessary an article into the interior of 

every dwelUng. 

The washing of linen is an occupation usually earned on with us in the 
interior of our houses. Throughout Russia it is seldom that the laundress 
plies her work any where but in the river itself. On all the canals and 
along the banks of the river, are seen floating washhouses, where the 
linen is undergoing the operation of being ininierscd in water, and then 
soundly beaten with a kind of flat wooden mallet. This piimitive system 
of washing prevails throughout all the countries peopled by the Slavonian 
races, from St. Petersburg to Macedonia. Even during the severest winter, 
when it costs some trouble to keep their ice-holes open, the hardy women 
engaged in these chilly labours may be seen busily at work, and though 
almost incrusted in ice, they are never heard to complain of the severity of 
the cold. There are some indeed of the luxunous St. Pctersburgers, who 
do not content themselves with so rude a process. I have been told of 
some who carry their delicacy on this point so far, that they declare it is 
impossible to have a shirt properly washed in Russia, and therefore send 
their dirty linen every fortnight by the steamer to London, whence they 
receive it back, in due course, washed and bleached to their satisfaction. 

The Sadoks, or floating fish-magazines, of the Neva, are an object of 
even more interest to a stranger than the washing-boats. The Russians 
are admirably skilled in all tliat relates to the catching, preserving, and 
selling of fish. The sadoks are pretty wooden houses, neatly painted, and 
not unlike the pavilions on the Alster at Hamburg. The sadok is fixed 
on a kind of raft, is moored close to the bank, with which it generally com- 
municates by means of a small wooden bridge. Within is generally a large 
room, where the dried and smoked fish are hung up, like the hams and 
sausages in the cottage of a WestphaUan peasant. In the middle, by way 
of a protection to the estabfishment, there are sure to be a couple of large 
sacred images with lamps burning before them. Besides smoking and 
salting their fish, the Russians have another mode of preserving them, — 
namely, by freezing them. In winter large boxes may be seen, something 
like our Geiman meal-chests. These boxes are filled with frozen fish : 
with turbot and herrings from Archangel, and with the delicate yershtshis 
from the Ladoga lake. At each side of the larger room, are some smaller 



THE NEVA. 



25 



ones, for the accommodation of the crew of the sadok, and one fitted up as 
a kind of refreshment-room for those who visit these estabhshments for the 
purpose of eating fresh caviare in perfection. Behind the sadok are al- 
ways large reservoirs in which a number of live fish are kept, for the Rus- 
sians are great gourmands in the article of fish, and make a great point of 
popping them alive into the pot. This species of luxury is sometimes carried 
to a great excess. The fish of the Volga are brought alive to St. Petei-s- 
burg at an enormous cost. A sterlet, which, if dead, might be had for 
thirty or forty rubles, will bring from 100 to 300 if alive, a wealthy Rus- 
sian taking a pride in showing it alive to his guests, a httle while before it 
figures on his board. 

In the centre of the town, the Neva is about a verst in breadth, and, 
owing to the great bend which the river makes, its length within the city 
is not less than three German (more than thirteen English) miles. It is 
easy to imagine the icy waste which the surface must present in winter, 
when, in the centre of this gieat capital, a man may perform journeys by 
night that almost make him fancy himself travelling in the wilds of Lap- 
land. The lamps in the houses may indeed be seen twinkling at a dis- 
tance, but the moon or the aurora borealis afford the only light to guide 
him on his way, and he will often have occasion to consult the compass 
and the stars, to direct his course. People have at times been robbed and 
murdered on the ice, so that these night expeditions on the Neva during 
winter are always in very bad odour, and avoided as much as possible by all 
prudent people. How changed is the scene in summer, when boating on the 
Neva becomes a favourite amusement with all classes ! The nights then 
are warm and beautifully clear, and the Russians probably enjoy their 
gondolas the more, on account of the shortness of the period during which 
they can enjoy them. During June and July, the arms of the Neva are 
swarming, night and day, with gondolas and saihng-boats, and all the 
boasted scenes of Venice and her canals are insignificant to the animated 
pictures then constantly presenting themselves on this northern river. 
Imagine an atmosphere gently agitated by the mildest and most in- 
sinuating zephyrs ; the air warm but not sultry, and the night so clear that 
all creation seems awake, and even the birds continue to pour forth their 
song ; a night, in short, with all the charms and loveliness of night, com- 
bined with all the convenience of day, as though the jocund day had flung 
over his shoulders the majestic mantle of night. Imagine then a noble 
river, meandering in a multitude of arms, through an archipelago of islands, 
crowned with magnificent palaces, or decorated with delicious gardens. 
The wide sea itself, close to the city, presents itself at each of the six 
mouths of the river. Imagine the scene animated by thousands of ships 
and boats. Here the sailing-boat of the English skipper, who proudly 
displays his superior skill over all else that floats on the watery element ; 
there the German burgher with his family, abandoning himself to enjoy- 
ment after the labours of a busy day. On another side may be seen a 
congregation of Russian peasants pouring the sweet melodies of their 
nation over the bosom of the water, or the splendid barge of a Russian 
noble, attended by a magnificent band of wind instruments, each artist the 
born thrall of the master he attends on. The seamen of every maritime 
nation may be seen rowing about, enjoying a scene to the animation of 
which they contribute their share. I doubt whether there be a city on 
the globe that can show any thing equal to the beauty of one of these boat- 
excursions on the Neva, during a fine summer-night. 



Ml 



26 



CHAPTER IV. 

LIFE IN THE STREETS. 

A STRANGER accustomed to the crowds and bustle of London or Paris 
is struck on his arrival at St. Petersburg by the emptiness of the streets. 
He finds vast open spaces in which at times he beholds nothing but a soli- 
tarvToshky, tL wends its way along Uke a boat dnftmg on the open 
sea^ He sees spacious streets bordered by rows of mute palaces with only 
here and there a human figure hovering about hke a l^/k"^f ^^^^^^^^ 
amonff a waste of rocks. The vastness of the plan on which he city has 
Ten !aid out, shows that its founders speculated on a distant future 
Rapidly as the population has been increasing, it is stiU insufficient to fill 
L^frame allotted to it, or to give to the streets that hfe and movement 
which we look for in the capital of a great empire. On the occasion 
Tdeed, of great pubUc festivals and rejoicings and at ^U times m the 
Sevskd Prospekt and about the Admiralty, the movement ^^ very con- 
siderable, but this only tends to leave the throng and bustle of the other 
quarters of the town far below the average. 

^ The population of St. Petersburg is the most varied and motley that 
mind can imagine. To begin with the military. We ^^ave the Caucasian 
guards, the Tartar guardsf the Finland guards, besides a ^ofh and fifth 
division of the guards for the various tribes of Cossacks. Ot these 
nations, the elite are thus always retained as hostages in the capital, and 
their several uniforms are alone sufficient to present a ^«ver-chan^ng pic- 
toe to the eye of an observer. Here may be seen a Cossack rotting^^^^ 
one of the Platz Farads with his lance in rest, as though in Ins ^lagin^- 
tion he were still pursuing a cloud of flying Frenchmen. ^^^^f"^^^ 
perchance a Circassian cavalier, in his shirt of mail, and Wss^^^ from 
Lad to foot, is going tlirough his warlike exercises. The Moslem trom 
Z Taurus may\e feen grLly moving through the throng^^^ w^^^^^^^^^^ 
well-drilled Russian soldiers defile in long columns thix)ugh the streets 
Of aU the endless variety of uniforms that belong to tl- f eat R^^^^^^^^^ 
army a few specimens are always to be seen in the capital, iliere are 
th^Pavlov^^^^^^^^ the Semeonov guards, and the Pavlogradski guards; 
the Sum Wars, 'and the Tshugu^ev hussars ;thea there are diasse^^^^ 
^ cheval, and sharpshooters on foot; then there are ~^^-^^^^^ 
grenadiers, and pioneers, and engineers; horse artiUery and foot ar- 
tillery ; to say nothing of dragoons, lancers, and those mihtary pie 
bS the troops of the Hne.^ All these, in their various uniforms 
marcldng to parade, returning to their barracks, mountmg ^ard a«d 
passing through tlie other multifarious duties of a garrison hfe, are in 
themselves enough to give hfe and diversity to the streets. 

If then we t^ to the more pacific part of the population, devoted to 
the less biilUant, but certainly not less useful, prnrsmt of commerce we 
find every nation of Europe, and almost every "^^^.^f.f^f ^X^^ 
sented in 'the streets of St. Petersburg. Spaniards and Jtahans English 
and French, Greeks and Scandinavians may be seen mmglmg toget^^^^ 
nor will the silken garments of the Persian and the Bokhanan be wanting 



LIFE IN THE STREETS. 



27 



to the picture, nor the dangling tail of the Chinese, nor the pearly teeth 
of the Arabian. 

The infima plehs bears an outside as motley as the more aristocratic 
portion of the community. The German Bauer may be seen lounging 
among the noisy bearded Russians ; the slim Pole elbows the dimuiutive 
Finlander ; and Esthonians, Lettes and Jews are running up against each 
other, while the Mussulman studiously avoids all contact with the Jew. 
Yankee sailors and dwarfish Kamtshadales, Caucasians, Moors, and 
Mongahans, all sects, races, and colours contribute to make up the 
populace of the Russian capital. 

Nowhere does the street life of St. Petersburg display itself to better ef- 
fect than in the Nevskoi Prospekt. This magnificent street extends from 
the Alexander Nevskoi Monastery to the Admiralty, a distance of four versts. 
Towards the end it makes a slight bend, but throughout the greater part 
of its length it is perfectly straight. It intersects all the rings of the city ; 
the suburbs of the poor, the showy regions of commerce, and the sumptuous 
quarters of the aristocracy. A walk along the whole length of this street, 
is one perhaps as interesting as any that can be made in St. Petersburg. 
Starting fi'om the extreme end, where a monastery and a cemetery remind 
us of death and soUtude, we first arrive at low little wooden houses, which 
lead us to a cattle-market, where around the spirit-shops may be seen 
swarms of noisy singing Russian peasants, presenting a picture not unhke 
what may daily be seen in the villages of the interior. A little farther 
on the houses improve in appearance ; some are even of stone, and boast 
of an additional floor ; the houses of public entertainment are of a better 
description, and shops and warehouses are seen similar to those of the 
small provincial towns. Next follow some markets and magazines for the 
sale of invalided furniture and superannuated apparel, which, having 
spent their youth in the service of the central quarters, are consigned in 
old age to the mercy of the suburbs. The houses, in the old Russian 
fashion, are painted yellow and red, and every man we meet displays a 
beard of venerable length, and a yet longer caftan. A Httle farther on, 
and we see a few isvoshtshiks who have strayed by chance so far from 
their more central haunts ; a shaven chin and a swallow-tailed coat may 
be seen at intervals, and here and there a house assumes something like an 
air of stateliness and splendour. On arriving at the bend already men- 
tioned, the huge gilt spire of the Admiralty is descried at a distance, 
floating apparently over the intervening mist. We cross a bridge, and 
begin to feel that we are in a mighty city. The mansions rise to three, 
and even to four stories, the inscriptions on the houses become larger and 
more numerous, carriages and four become more frequent, and every now 
and then the waving plume of a staff'-officer dashes by. At length we 
•arrive at the Fontanka Canal, cross the Anitshkof Bridge, and the Palace of 
Count B. announces at once that we have entered the aristocratic quarter of 
the capital. From this bridge to the Admiralty is what may be called the 
fashionable part of the Prospekt, and as we advance the bustle and the 
throng become greater and greater. Carriages-and-four at every step ; 
generals and princes elbowing through the crowd ; sumptuous shops, im- 
perial palaces, cathedrals and churches of all the various reUgions and 
sects of St. Petersburg. 

The scene in this portion of the street, at about midday, may challenge 
comparison with any street in the world, and the splendour of the spectacle 



LIFE IN THE STREETS. 



29 



28 



LIFE IN THE STREETS. 



is enhanced by tlie magnificence of the decorations. This part of the 
street, though fully an English mile in length, does not contain more than 
fifty houses, each of which, it may easily be inferred, must be of co- 
lossal magnitude. Most of these buildings are the property of the 
several churches that border the street — the Dutch, the CathoUc, the Ar- 
menian, and others, that received from Peter the Great large grants of 
land, of little value probably when first bestowed, but from wliich, as they 
are now in the heart of the city, splendid revenues are at present de- 
rived. 

The street from the Anitshkof Bndge to the Admiralty is the favourite 
promenade with the beau monde of St. Petersburg. The buildings are 
magnificent, the equipages roll noiselessly over the wooden pavement of 
the centre, and the trottoirs on each side are broad and commodious. 
The people you meet are civil, and quarrels and disputes are never heard. 
The lower classes, from their childliood, are taught to behave respectfully 
to their more fortunate fellow-men, and, besides, the Slavonian is by 
nature more ductile and better rounded off than we of the Saxon race, 
who carry so many corners and crotchets about with us, that we need be 
careful, when we move through the streets, that we do not entangle our- 
selves with those we meet. The northern, being the sunny, is the fa- 
vourite side of the street for the promenaders, and on that side, accord- 
ingly, are the most magnificent shops. 

The garrison of St. Petersburg seldom amounts to less than 60,000 
men, and constitutes, therefore, more than one-ninth of the population. 
Neither officer nor private must ever appear in public otherwise than in 
full uniform, and this may suffice to give some idea of the preponderance 
of the military over the civil costumes that one encounters in the streets. 
The wild Circassian, with his silver harness and his coat of mail, gaily 
converses and jest with the more polished Russian officer, wliile their 
several kinsmen are busily engaged in cutting each other's throats in the 
Caucasus. Even in the streets of St. Petersburg, however, it is more safe 
to avoid collision with these mountaineers, who are sudden and quick in 
quarrel, wear sharp daggers, and always carry loaded fire-arms about 
them. Even at a ball or a soiree they never lay their pistols aside, and 
these are never otherwise than ready for immediate use. Some years ago 
one Prince Ali acquired some notoriety by his wild pranks, but his hand- 
some person and his general popularity seem to have secured for him a 
considerable share of impunity. In the crowded streets he would at 
times amuse himself with pistol practice, the sun usually serving him for a 
target. His faithful steed followed him about hke a dog, and if the 
poUce offered to interfere with his diversion, he was in the saddle in a mo- 
ment, and galloping away at full speed to some other quarter of the 
town. The sun was his usual target; but lamps and lamp-posts were 
sometimes selected, and occasionally, though not often, he turned the 
muzzle of his pistol upon those from whom he imagined himself to have 
received an affront. On one occasion he resented some disrespectful ex- 
pressions applied to his mother in the Caucasus, by firing at the offender, 
but fortunately missed him ; not, however, from any want of skill, but be- 
cause an officer, who stood near him, was able, just in time, to thrust his 
arm aside. 

It would not be saying too much, to say that half St. Petersburg are 
clad in a uniform of one sort or another. For, in addition to the 60,000 



soldiers, there are civil uniforms for the public officers of every grade, for 
the police, for the professors of the university, and not only for the 
teachers, but likewise for the pupils of the public schools. Nor must the 
private uniforms be forgotten, that are worn by the numerous servants of 
the noble and wealthy families. Still there remain enough of plain coats 
to keep up the respectability of the fraternity. The whole body of mer- 
chants, the English factory, the German barons from the Baltic provinces, 
Russian princes- and landowners from the interior, foreigners, private 
teachers, and many others, are well pleased to be exempt from the con- 
straint of buttons and epaulets ; indeed, so much that is really respectable 
walks about in simple black and blue, that a plain coat is felt by many to 
be rather a desirable distinction, although the wearer is obliged on all 
public occasions to yield the pas to the many-coloured coats of the civil 
and military employes. 

The seasons and the variations of the weather bring about many, and 
often very sudden changes, in the street population of St. Petersburg, 
where the temperature is always capricious and unstable. In winter every 
one is cased in furs ; in summer light robes of gauze and silk are seen 
fluttering in the breeze. In the morning the costumes are perhaps all 
light and airy, and in the evening of the same day none will venture to 
stir abroad otherwise than in cloaks and mantles. The sun shines, and 
swarms of dandies and petites mattresses come fluttering abroad ; it 
rains, and the streets are abandoned to the undisputed possession of the 
" Black People." One day all snow and sledges, the next all mud and 
clattering wheels. 

Nor is it merely the change of weather that alters the physiognomy of 
the streets. The various sects that make up the population of the town 
give often a peculiar character to the day. On Friday, the hoHday of the 
Moslems, the turbaned Turk, the black-bearded Persian, and the Tartar, 
with his shorn head, take their leisure in the streets. On Saturday, the 
black silk caftans of the Jews come abroad in great numbers ; and on the 
Sunday the Christians of all denominations come forth to their pious ex- 
ercises or tJieir various diversions. The different sects of the Christians 
again tend to vary the scene. To-day the Lutherans celebrate their 
yearly day of penance, and German burghers, with their wives and 
children, and with their neat black gilt-edged hymn-books under their 
arms, sally forth on their pilgrimage to the church ; to-morrow the 
Catholics are summoned to some feast or other of the immaculate Virgin, 
and Poles and Lithuanians, Frenchmen, and Austrians, hurry to their 
stately temples. The next day are heard the thousand bells of the Greek 
Kolokolniks, and the wives and daughters of the Russian merchants come 
humming and fluttering about the streets in their gaudy plumages of 
green, blue, yellow, and red. But the great days are the public holidays, 
the emperor's days as they are called, when all the modes and fashions 
current, from Paris to Pekin, are certain to be paraded to the public gaze. 

It has often been remarked that there are few cities where one sees so 
many handsome men as in St. Petersburg. This is partly owing to the 
prevalence of uniforms, which certainly set off the person to advantage, 
partly also to the fact that all the handsomest men in the provinces are 
constantly in demand as recruits for the various regiments of the guards. 
Something must also be attributed to the constant efforts of the Russians 
to give themselves the most agreeable forms. In no other town are there 



30 



LIFE IN THE STREETS. 



LIFE IN THE STREETS. 



31 



I 



so few cripples and deformed people ; and this is not owing merely to their 
being less tolerated here than elsewhere, but also, it is said, to the fact, 
that the Slavonian race is less apt than any other to produce deformed 
children. On the other hand, at every step you meet men whose exterior 
you cannot but admire, and a moment's reflection must fill you with regret 
that there should be so few fair eyes to contemplate so many handsome 
specimens of manhood. St. Petersburg is unfortunately a city of men, the 
male sex beuig in a majority of at least 100,000, and the women by no 
means equally distinguished for their charms. The cHmate seems to be 
unfavourable to the development of female beauty ; the tender plants 
quickly fade in so rude an atmosphere, and as they are so few in numbers, 
they are all the more in demand for the ballroom and the soiree, and are 
the more quickly used up by the friction of dissipation. Whether this be 
the cause, or whether the Russian women are naturally less handsome, 
comparatively, than the men, certain it is, that a fresh, handsome-looking 
girl is but rarely to be seen at St. Petersburg. The German ladies from 
the Baltic provinces form the exception ; and it is from Finland, Livonia, 
Esthonia, and Courland, that the gay circles of the capital receive their 
chief supply of beauty. To this it may be owing that the Russians have 
so high an opinion of German beauty that they rarely withhold from a 
Nyemka {Germfin woman) the epithet oi hrassivaya, or beautiful. The 
ladies at St. Petersburg, though in such great demand on account of their 
scarcity, are liable, from the same cause, to many inconveniences. For 
instance, it is impossible for them to walk in the streets, even in broad 
daylight, without a male escort. 

The best hour for walking on the Prospekt is from 12 till 2, when the 
ladies go shopping, and the men go to look at the fair purchasers. To- 
wards two or three o'clock, the purchases have been made, the parade is 
over, the merchants are leaving the exchange, the world of promenaders 
wend their way to the English quay, and the real promenade for the day 
begins, the imperial family usually mingling with the rest of the loungers. 
This magnificent quay, constructed, Hke all the quays of St. Petersburg, 
of huge blocks of granite, runs along the Neva from the New to the Old 
Admiralty, and was built during the reign of the Empress Catherine, who 
caused the canals and rivers of her capital, to the length of not less than 
24 English miles, to be enclosed in granite. As in all water constructions, 
the colossal part of the work is not that which meets the eye. The mighty 
scaffolding on which the quay rests, stands deeply imbedded in the marshy 
soil below. Handsome steps, eveiy here and there, lead down to the river ; 
and for carriages large broad descents have been constructed, and these in 
winter are usually decorated with all sorts of fanciful columns and other 
ornaments, cut out of the ice. The houses along the English quay are 
deservedly called palaces. They were originally, for the most part, built 
by Englishmen, but are now, nearly all of them, the property of wealthy 
Russians. 

The favourite walk in Hamburg is called the Jungfernstieg, or Maiden's 
Walk ; the English quay in St. Petersburg ought to be called the Princes* 
Walk, for there daily the elite of the Russian empire may be seen wearing 
away the gianite with their princely and noble feet. The carriages 
usually stop at the New Admiralty, where their noble owners descend, and 
honom- the quay by walking up and down it some two or three times. 
There are no shops ; and as the English quay is not a convenient thorough- 



fiire, the promenaders are seldom disturbed by the presence of any chance 
passengers. The Emperor and the imperial family are a centre to the 
groups that come to salute them and to be saluted by them. This fonns 
a kind of connexion for the promenaders, and gives a oneness to the 
assembled company. The Emperor walks up and down upon an apparent 
footing of equality Avith his subjects around him ; though these, in point of 
fact, stand about in the same relation to him, that a child's doll does to 
the Colossus of Rhodes. The Englishman buttons up his hatred of des- 
potism in his great coat, and scarcely condescends to touch his hat when 
he meets the " Giant of the North ;" while to the Russian by liis side, a 
submissive demeanour has by habit become a positive source of enjoyment, 
till he feels a real affection for those to whom the law gives the right of 
ordering him about. The elegant of the French embassy, whose coimex- 
ions with Paris ensure to him at all times the earliest information relative 
to the variations of the mode, is observed with as much interest by the 
native petit maitre, as an insect would be observed by a naturalist ; and 
be assured that the observations of to-day will be studiously turned to 
account by the observant student, when to-morrow he proceeds to the 
important avocations of his toilet. The baron or the reichsgraf from 
Germany, who can tell you his ancestors from before the times of the 
Ilohenstaufens, and who delights to think that his gi-eat-grandchildren 
after him will he registered in the Gotha Almanac, walks here side by 
side with the Russian trader, who, Uke an ignis fatuus, has suddenly sprung 
from some fen or other, and whose name in a few years will disappear and 
leave no trace behind it, either in the annals of history or the columns of 
an almanac. The master of some vast estate, in \\\e Ural mountains or 
on the arid Steppes, where thousands of souls must labour away for his 
exclusive profit, walks along the quay with as little pretension as the poor 
shopman, who can scarcely be said to have a property in his own soul, 
imbodied as it is in the gay garments, which he has such evident delight 
in displaying to an admiring world. 

Among all the great men, however, that wander daily up and down the 
English quay, the two greatest are unquestionably the empress's footmen, 
who, in their purple uniform, attend the steps of their imperial mistress. 
These men, one of whom is said to be a Jew, are giants such as are but 
seldom seen at a fair. They are figures well known to every child in St. 
Petersburg, but they are said to be one inch shorter than another of the 
lions of the capital, the drum-major of the Semeneoff regiment of the 
guards, who may daily be admired at the Admiralty parade. Two 
Russian gentlemen, also well known to tlie St. Petersbm'g world, are said 
to dispute the palm of greatness with the footmen and the drum-major, 
but public opinion goes against their claim. Nor must Baron — n — be 
forgotten among the personal peculiarities of the English quay, from 
which he but rarely absents himself. His person is of such huge dimen- 
sions, that he is said not to have seen his own feet for thirty years, yet so 
dexterously and with so much elegance does he carry the enormous weight 
with which those feet are charged, that he passes at nearly every ball for 
the best dancer in the room ; so much so, that for a waltz or a gallopade 
the ladies are said to value him as a partner beyond the slenderest dandy 
that woos them to the merry roimd. Then there's Count F., as far from 
a sansculotte as any count can well be, but not the less a sans chapeauy 
for he can endure no covering on his head, and walks about without a hat 



32 



LIFE IN THE STREETS. 



LIFE IN THE STREETS. 



33 



III 




m 



even on tlie coldest day in winter, allowing wind and snow to frolic at their 
leisure among the dainty curls always tastefully arranged around his un- 
daunted summit. In endurance he is surpassed only by Peter the Cxreat, 
the huffe man of bronze that stands perched upon his rock, and whose 
equanimity remains undisturbed even when crows pour forth tlieir mono- 
tonous eloquence from his crown, or when a pair of loving sparrows chirrup 
forth their compliments from his nose. Another of the remarkable figures 
pointed out to every stranger, is o, petit maitre of the old school, one Mr. 
--ff— who figures upon the promenade in the same costume in whicH he 
fiffured there forty years ago, in the time of the Emperor Paul The sta- 
tionary beau is said to have been one day so terriHed by a rebuke from his 
emperor, that the clockwork of his understanding has stood still ever since, 
and now continues pointing to the hour which it struck at the setting m 

of our century. , . , o /- j •t'I,^ 

Another promenade much frequented is the Summer Garden. 1 he 
other wardens, as that of the Tauride Palace, and that of the Grand Duke 
Michaers Palace, are but little visited. The Summer Garden, which lies 
on the Neva, close to the Trotzkoi bndge, is about one thousand ells long 
and five hundred broad. It is the oldest garden in the city, contains a 
number of fine old trees, and is therefore of incalculable value m the centre 
of the fitony masses of the city. It is laid out in a number of long avenues, 
interspersed with flowerbed., somewhat in the ancient style of ^dcning, 
with an abundance of marble statues of Springs and Summers, Horas and 
Fauns, and other divinities belonging to the same coterie. On the 
northern side is the celebrated iron railing, with its fanciful garlands and 
arabesques, which the people will tell you an Englishman once travelled aU 
the way from London to see and make a sketch of, and then returned, 
satisfied with his journey, not deigning to cast an eye on any of the other 
marvels of the northern city. This garden is attended to as carefully 
almost as those of Zarskoye Selo, where a policeman is said to run alter 
every leaf that falls, that it may instantly be removed out of sight. In 
autumn all the statues are cased in wooden boxes, to protect them against 
the rain and snow of winter, and all the tender trees and shrubs are at the 
same time packed up in straw and matting, m w iich they remam till 
the return of spring, when statues, trees, and men lay their winter gar- 
ments aside nearly at one and the same time. The grassplots are regularly 
watered in summer, and the paths are carefully cleaned and trimmed. And 
the garden gratefully repays the pains expended on it, for throughout the 
fine season it forms a delightful retreat, and its turf and its trees m spnng 
are green and smiling, before any of the other gardens have been able to 
diveft themselves of the chill-hardened gnn into which their features have 
been stiffened during a six months' winter. ^ i • i, j u 

In one corner of the Summer Garden stands the palace in which dwelt 
Peter the Great. It is a little, low, white house with a few tasteless has- 
rehefs painted yellow. On the roof between the chimneys, St. George, 
mounted on a tin horse, is in the act of piercing the. dragon In the in- 
terior, a few articles of furniture formerly used by Peter, are sti 1 preserved. 
The house seems to have grown ashamed of its littleness, for it hides itself 
completely among the tall linden-trees of the garden, as though fearful of 
intruding into the company of the stately palaces that have grown up 
around. Still it twinkles every now and then with its oldfashioned win- 
dows through the foUage as if it took a pleasure in the proud children to 



which it has given birth. How differently it must have looked when it 
was yet sole lord of the wilderness, when it stood there, the only elegant 
among a mob of fishers* huts ! The 500,000 square ells of ground which 
the garden occupies here in the centre of the town, would be worth at least 
twenty millions of rubles, if sold for building on. The city may, therefore, 
be said to sacrifice a yearly revenue of a million of rubles, by allowing the 
garden to remain ; yet the city acts wisely, in submitting to the loss, from 
which it derives more than the value of a million of rubles in cheerfiilness 
and health. 

It is particularly in the Summer Garden that the rising generation of 
St. Petersburg may be said to take their diversion. Hither it is that the 
little ladies repau- with their governesses, the tutors with their little embryo 
generals and senators, the nurses with their tender charges. It is impossi- 
ble to imagine a prettier spectacle than all the handsome little Cossacks, 
Circassians, and Mushnicks, that romp about the Summer Garden on a 
fine day. The Russians of all ranks are fond of dressing their children, till 
they are seven or eight years old, a la moujik, as it is called. The hair 
is cut short, as it is usually worn by the peasantry, and the little fellows 
are then arrayed in pretty caftans neatly fastened with girdles, nearly of 
the same fashion as those worn by the Gostinnoi Dvor merchants, with 
liigh Tartar caps like those worn by the Russian coachmen. Lately the 
Circassian costume has been in favour for children, and becomes them 
admirably, with its silver embroidery and edgings of fur. Only when 
children come to be nine or ten years old do they begin to dress like 
Europeans. This, however, applies only to the boys, for little girls, as soon 
as they can walk, are decked out in the fashions of Paris. The same re- 
marks apply to the children of the imperial family, as to those of the 
nobility generally. 

As it is from among these young frequenters of the Summer Garden, that 
the future admirals, generals, and statesmen of the empire are probably to 
be chosen, it is impossible not to observe them with some degree of interest. 
Next to their costume, their language is the most remarkable thing about 
them. As they have Russian servants and nurses, English and French nur- 
sery-maids, and German teachers, they usually learn all the four languages at 
the same time, and as it is not easy for them at first to keep the several 
dialects distinct, they mix them up into an idiomatic ragout, highly amusing 
to a stranger, but which to the cluldren themselves must often cause a great 
confusion of ideas. It is nothing uncommon, for instance, to hear a child 
express itself in this fashion : " Papa, I have been in the letnoi sad ; Feodor 
s'nami buil ; est ce que vous n*irez pas!^ (Papa, I have been in the Summer 
Garden ; Feodor was with us ; will you not go.) 

The adult Russians generally speak a yet greater number of languages, 
though, of course, more correctly ; but it is remarkable that, hnguists as 
they are, they seldom borrow a term of endearment from any language 
but that of their land. The Russian is indeed singularly rich in pretty, 
coaxing, insinuating duninutives ; such as, lubesnoi, my dear ; milinhoi, 
my little dear ; dddushka, mjr little grandpapa ; matiushka, my Httle 
mamma ; drushka, my Httle fnend : golubtshik, my little dove ; dushinka, 
my little soul. Nor are these expressions confined to the Russians. Few 
strangers are long in the country, without acquiring the habit of ingrafting 
upon their own languages the Russian terms of endearment. 

The most brilliant day in the year for the Summer Garden is Whitmon- 



34 



LIFE IN THE STREETS. 



day, when the celebrated festival of the choosing of brides takes place. 
According to the ancient customs of Russia, the sons and daughters of the 
traders assemble on that day, those to see, and these to be seen. The 
young damsels, arrayed in all their finery, are marshalled in due order 
along the flower-beds, and their mammas are carefuUy stationed behind 
them. Every glittering ornament has been collected for the occasion, and 
not only their own wardrobes, but those of their grandmothers too, have 
been laid under contribution to collect decorations for the hair, the ears, 
the arms, the neck, the hands, the feet, the girdle, or, in short, for any part 
of the person to which by hook or by crook any thing in the shape of 
adornment can be fastened. Many of them are so laden with gold and 
jewellery, that scarcely any part of their natural beauty remains micovered. 
It is even said that, on one of these occasions, a Russian mother, not 
knowing what she should add to her daughter's toilet, contrived to make 
her a necklace of six dozen of gilt teaspoons, a girdle of an equal number 
of tablespoons, and then fastened a couple of pmichladles behind in the 
form of a cross. 

The young men meanwhile, with their flowing caftans and curled 
beards, are paraded by their papas, up and down, before these rows of 
yoimg, mute, blushing beauties, who, in spite of their bashlxJ looks, are 
evidently ambitious to please, and seem little disposed to resent the admira- 
tion of the swains. The papas and mammas endeavour here and there to 
engage their interesting charges in conversation with each other ; and in 
the course of these little colloquies, certain looks and emotions will betray 
an unsuspected inchnation, or perhaps give birth to sentiments pregnant 
with future moment. 

Eight days after this first bride -show, the interviews take place at the 
houses of the parents, when, by means of family negociations, a marriage 
is all but concluded, and the young couple part all but betrothed to each 
other. Similar customs prevail among all the nations of the Slavonian 
races, but it is a singular fact that a usage of the kind should have main- 
tained its ground so long in a place like St. Petersburg, where a numerous 
part of the public has ever been disposed to make the bride-show an object of 
ridicule. Of late years, indeed, the fashion has been gradually dying away, 
and the description given above applies rather to former than to the pre- 
sent times. Nevertheless, the lads and lasses of what may be called the bour- 
geoisie of St. Petersburg, still muster in the Summer Garden in great 
force on Whitmonday, when the foundation is laid for many a matrimonial 
negotiation ; though the business is conducted with less form and stiflfness 
than was wont to be the case some ten years ago. 

On one side of the Summer Garden is the Tzarizinskoi Lug, or Field of 
the Czars, which has somewhat inappropriately been translated into Champ 
de Mars. This place is more used than any other for exercising troops, 
though there are several other parade places in the city, and many of 
them much larger than the Champ de Mars. The Alexandrofskoi Platz- 
parad, the largest of all, occupies fully a square verst, but lies on the out- 
skirts of the capital. The chief parade, however, is held in the square 
of the Admiralty, and forms one of the daily enjoyments of many of the 
inhabitants. 

The Admiralty is surrounded by a boulevard and a double row of trees. 
Under these trees the spectatoi*s usually walk about during the time of the 
parade. The emperor generally conmiands in person ; and as there are 



LIFE IN THE STREETS. 



35 



always present several thousand men, and a host of generals and staff 
officers ; this simple parade forms at all times a handsome spectacle, and 
may, in fact, pass for a miniature review. To see the emperor ride by 
with his brilliant staff is itself worth seeing. He is a handsome, majestic- 
looking man. By his side rides his eldest son, and behind him follow 
a cloud of cavaliers, of whom each is at the least a prince's son and a 
major-general. As this splendid cortege advances, the soldiers, drawn 
up in line, present their arms, and the spectators imcover their heads. 
" Good morning, children !'* is the emperor's salutation ; " We thank 
your majesty," is the response that comes thundering in unison from thou- 
sands of throats. The parade often lasts several hours ; and whoever has 
witnessed a portion of it, taken a stroll down the Nevskoi Prospekt, looked 
into the Summer Garden, and walked up and down the EngHsh Quay, may 
quiet his conscience with the reflection that he has neglected no part of the 
St. Petersburg promenades for that day. 

A stranger has no occasion, however, to go to the parade, if his object 
is merely to see the emperor, who may be met with on foot, on horseback, 
or in a droshky, in all parts of St. Petersburg, and at every hovu' of the day. 
There is no other monarch who appears to have so much business to do 
in the streets as the successor of Peter the Great. There are public insti- 
tutions to be inspected, the offices of the different departments of 
government to be visited, reviews to be held, national festivals at which 
he is expected to attend, new buildings to be superintended, not to speak 
of the many private visits paid to those whom he is disposed to honour 
with so high a mark of favour. 

Wherever the emperor appears in public, he does so in the most simple 
and unpretending manner that can be imagined. His usual vehicle, when 
driving through the streets of his capital, is a sledge or a droshky, drawn 
by a single horse ; and when travelling, his telegue is a rude carriage, 
Httle better than those used by the serfs. This is the more remarkable, as 
in other respects the Russian court is one of greater pomp and magnifi- 
cence than any other in Europe. Yet I doubt whether the pettiest of all 
the petty princes of Germany would not think himself affronted, if he were 
invited to take his place in such a small plain, droshky, as the Emperor of 
all the Russias daily makes use of. This is not, however, a custom pecu- 
liar to the present emperor ; it was adopted by Peter the Great, and has 
been followed by all his successors. 

The superintendence of the street-population of St. Petersburg is en- 
trusted to a class of men called butshniks, a name for which they are in- 
debted to the butki, or boxes, in which they are stationed night and day. 
These little wooden boxes are to be seen at every corner, and to each box 
three butshniks are assigned, who have their beds there, their kitchen, and 
a complete domestic establishment. One of them, wrapped up in a grey 
cloak faced with red, and armed with a halbert, stands sentinel outside, 
while another attends to the culinary department, and a tliird holds him- 
self ready to carry orders, or to convey to the Siash, or police-office, the 
unfortunates whom his comrade may have thought it his duty to arrest. 
Each butshnik has a small whistle, by means of which he conveys a 
signal to the next post, if a fugitive is to be given chase to. The quar- 
talniks are a superior kind of police-officers, and these and the police- 
masters are constantly going their rounds, to see that the butshniks are 
not neglectful of their duty. By these means, excellent order is always 

d2 



36 



LIFE IN THE STREETS. 



maintained, and in no other capital of Europe are riotous or offensive 
scenes of less frequent occurrence. At night, in addition to the day- 
police, small detachments of mounted gens-d'armes parade the streets. 

The only inhabitants of the capital not liable to the inspection of the 
police are the crows and pigeons. These birds abound there to an asto- 
nishing extent. They fly about free and undisturbed every where. The 
crows congregate in the greatest numbers at the Anltshkoff Palace in the 
Nevskoi Prospekt, where many thousands often assemble in the evening to 
edify the passing public with their loud and earnest conversations. It 
has been noticed that they always perch upon a green roof in preference 
to a black or red one ; perhaps the green may seem to bear more affinity 
to the foliage of the trees they love to build among. The pigeons are 
sacred in the eyes of every Russian ; and as no one would dare to harm 
them, they become so bold, that they walk carelessly about among a crowd 
in search of their food, and scarcely make way either for a carriage or a foot- 
passenger. Nevertheless, they are in a half-wild and neglected condition, 
and build their nests chiefly about the roofs of the churches. They have 
their nests also under the roofs of the markets, and particularly among 
the columns of Gostinnoi Dvor, where the merchants in their hours of 
leisure take a great delight in feeding and caressing them. In the inner 
courts of the houses of St. Petersburg there are always large holes or 
boxes that serve as receptacles for every kind of dirt and rubbish which it 
is thought desirable to remove to the outside of the house. About these 
filthy boxes there may at times be seen whole swarms of pigeons feeding 
on all kinds of garbage, and the only wonder is that the Russians should 
retain any affection for birds that degenerate so woefully in Russia as to 
fight, like so many wolves, for putrid meat and fish entrails. Never- 
theless, it is thought a species of sacrilege to kill a pigeon. Boys may 
sometimes indeed be seen running about with sticks, to the end of which 
cords. are fastened, and to the end of the cord a button or a stone. This 
cord they throw dexterously round the necks of the pigeons, as the South 
Americans throw their lasso round the neck of an ox. The pigeons thus 
caught are sold to the profane Germans, who are said to convert the holy 
birds into heathenish ragouts, or to bake them in sacrile^ous pies. 



CHAPTER V* 



THE ISVOSHTSHIKS. 



The vast space occupied by a Russian city, with its broad endless streets, 
and its wide waste public squares and places, makes it probable that the 
institution of hackney-carriages is one of very remote origin in Russia. 
In other countries, the convenience is one known only to large towns ; but 
in Russia, such is the aversion of the people to walking, that, as soon as a 
few thousand human beings have been collected into the same vicmage, a 
due supply of isvoshtshiks becomes one of the most urgent wants of the 



H 

-'a 
'■t^ 



■•■;? 



THE ISVOSHTSHIKS. 37 

new community. From this, some notion may be formed of the army of 
isvoshtshiks collected together on the pavement of the capital. They are 
estimated, in some statistical returns I have seen, at 8000. In some 
quarters you may see hundreds at one glance ; and when we consider that 
the length of all the streets of St. Petersburg amounts to nearly 400 
versts, it cannot be an extravagant estimate to reckon twenty-five 
hackney-carriages to every verst. 

We have already seen that there are in one place in St. Petersburg 
three houses, side by side, to pass which on foot will occupy a man a good 
half hour. A morning visit, a dinner, and an evening visit, might cost 
him his whole day. In winter the streets are full of a deep snow dust, 
formed of the numberless crystals of ice that are constantly undergoing 
the process of being ground up into fine powder, and through which it is 
about as tedious to wade as through the sands of Sahara. The rude 
northern blast, moreover, that ranges uncontrolled through the wide airy 
streets, makes every man glad enough to creep into a sledge, where he 
may draw his mantle over his face, and wrap himself, head and all, in furs. 
In spring, one-half of St. Petersburg is a mere bog, and in summer the 
intolerable dust actually stops one's breath, and relaxes all the muscles of 
the feet. No wonder, therefore, that the most resolute pedestrian soon 
grows tired of using his own feet in St. Petersburg, and in utter despair 
roars out his " Davai ! Isvoshtshik !" to the first droshky stand. 

He will seldom have occasion to " sing out" his davai a second time. 
Nay, a man need not even look at the serviceable equipages, for if he 
only stand still for a moment, and seem to deliberate in his own mind 
upon the expediency of summoning a charioteer to his assistance, the hint 
is quite sufficient, and half-a-dozen sledges will immediately come dart- 
ing up to the spot where he stands. The oat-bags are quickly thrown 
aside, the harness drawn tight, and each of the rival candidates for 
favour places himself upon his box, satisfied apparently that he, and he 
alone, will bear away the prize. " Where to, sir ?" — ** To the Admiralty." 
— " 111 go for two rubles." — " I for one and a half," cries another, and so 
they go on underbidding each other, till they come down perhaps to half a 
ruble. You take the cheapest, probably, but take care the cheapest be not 
also the worst, or you must be prepared for a volley of jokes and banter- 
ings from the disappointed applicants. " Ah, do but look, little father, how 
stingy you are !" — " To save a few copeks, you put up with that ragged 
rascal for your coachman." — " He and his three-legged animal will stick 
fast before you get half way." — "The gray-bearded vagabond will be sure 
to upset you ; he's so drunk he can't stand." — " He'll take you to the 
shambles, and swear it's the Admiralty." — No one enjoys all this abuse, 
meanwliile, more than the object of it, who laughs in his sleeve, and 
grumbles out his **Nitshevoss! never fear, sir; we shall get on well 
enough." 

These men are, for the most part, Russians from all the different go- 
vernments of the empire; but among them there are also Finlanders, 
Esthonians, Lettes, Poles, and Germans. They arrive at St. Petersburg 
generally as little boys of ten or twelve years old, hire themselves as 
drivers to some owner of hackney-carriages, whom they continue to serve 
till they have saved enough to buy a horse and vehicle, when they set up 
in business on their own account. Their trade, as all trades are in 
Russia, is uncontrolled by corporation laws ; and should fodder grow dear, 



38 



THE ISVOSHTSIIIKS. 



or business slack, the isvoshtshik packs up the few worldly goods he pos- 
sesses, drives away to the south, and reappears in the streets of Novgorod 
or Moscow ; thus, in pursuit of fortune, they emerge now hi one town 
and now in another, till chance enable them to form a profitable and per- 
manent estabUshment in some one place. In the provincial to^vTis, where 
fodder is to be had for little or nothing, they usually drive with two horses, 
but in St. Petersburg, where every thing, in comparison, is enormously 
dear, the pubUc must content themselves with one. 

In winter the isvoshtshik uses the favourite national vehicle of a sledge, 
with which he continues to grind the pavement as long as the least trace 
of snow is to be felt under the spring mud. A covered carriage he never 
uses. The cloaks and furs of the passengers must do the same service in 
Russia that the roof of the coach does with us ; and when well wrapped 
up in a series of protecting folds, the warm nucleus of Ufe that occupies 
the centre, patiently suffers the pelting of snow, rain, and mud till the 
end of his journey, where the dirty rind is peeled off, and the said kernel 
steps forth clean and unspotted from his muddy covering. 

The isvoshtshiks of St. Petersburg appear to be a race of Hamaxobites,* 
leading a sort of nomadic life among the palaces of the capital. They 
encamp by day in the streets, and so do many of them during the night, 
then* sledge serving them at once as house and bed. Like the Bedoum 
Arabs, they carry the oat-bag constantly with them, and fasten it, during 
their intervals of leisure, to the noses of their steeds. In every street 
arrangements have been made for the convenience of the isvoshtshiks. 
Every here and there mangers are erected for their use ; to water their 
horses, there are in all parts of the town convenient descents to the canals 
or to the river ; and hay is sold at a number of shops in small bundles, 
just sufficient for one or two horses. To still the thirst and hunger of the 
charioteers themselves, there are peripatetic dealers in quass, tea, and 
bread, who are constantly wandering about the streets for the charitable 
purpose of feeding the hungry. The animals are as hardy as their 
masters. Neither care for cold or rain, both eat as opportunity serves, 
and are content to take their sleep when it comes. Yet they are always 
cheerful, the horses ever ready to start off at a smart trot, the drivers at 
all times disposed for a song, a joke, or a gossip. When they are neither 
eating, nor engaged in any other serious occupation, they lounge about 
their sledges, singing some simple melody that they have probably brought 
with them from their native forests. Where several of them happen to be 
together at the corner of a street, they are sure to be engaged in some 
game or other, pelting with snow-balls, wrestling, or bantering each 
other, till the " Davai, isvoshtshik !" of some chance passenger makes 
them all grasp their whips in a moment, and converts them into eager 
competitors for the expected gain. i t^. i j mu • 

The poorest isvoshtshiks in St. Petersburg are the Fmlanders. Their 
droshky is often little more than a board nailed over the axles of their 
wheels, and their little shaggy, ragged, bony horses look Uke the very 
emblems of hunger and misery. Scarcely covered by then: tattered 
caftans, they station themselves in the remote quarters of the town, and 
themselves poor, afford the use of their four wheels to poverty for a mode- 



♦ Pwellers in wnpprons. 



THE ISVOSHTSHIKS. 



39 



rate fee. In the more fashionable and central quarters, on the other 
hand, equipages of first-rate elegance offer then- service to the pubfic, mth 
every thing about them a quatre epmgles. A fine black steed, with a 
coat shining like satin, the harness glittering like a lady s ball- dress ; a 
liffht delicate sledge, with a cloth richly lined with fur, and an isvoshtshik 
in a magnificent beard, and a caftan fit for a Turkish pasha. Such 
vehicles are not to be put in motion for any thing less than a blue note, 
and are intended to impress a credulous pubhc with the belief that they 
are private and not hired carriages ; for in St. Petersburg it is thought 
tresmauvais gaire for a lady to allow herself to be driven by an isvosht- 
shik ; and a woman above the rank of a chambermaid or a tradesman s 
wife would scarcely venture to make use of such a conveyance, i he men 
are less particular. Even those of the highest station do not refuse, on an 
emergency, to avail themselves of the services of an isvoshtshik. 

It is not customary for a Russian noble to put a livery on his coachman, 
who is almost always clad in the old national costume. If, therefore, 
you hire one of these smart isvoshtshiks, all you have to do is to order 
Inm to slip his number under his caftan, and nobody can tell whether the 
driver and his steed are not, bodies and soul of them, your undisputed 
freehold property. Indeed, these handsome eqmpages on the pubhc 
stands are said sometimes to be the private carriages of individuals, who, 
during their absence from the capital, convert their coachmen into isvosht- 
shiks. St. Petersburg is at all times crowded with civil and mihtary 
officers, who are liable without any previous notice to be sent away sud- 
denly to a distant part of the empire, and who are willing that their 
horses should earn their oats in the public service while then- masters are 

away. , . , . 'xi. 

As there are no fixed fares, you must each time bargain with your 

driver when you hire him ; but the fellows are, in general, moderate 

enough, and will take you a tolerably long way for a few pence. Their 

demands indeed are apt to rise in proportion as the weather becomes less 

inviting to pedestrianism, or as the calendar announces the recurrence ot 

a public holiday. There are days when they will not bate a copek of 

their demands ; and in the busy part of the clay they will not take less 

than two rubles for a course, which in the morning or the evenmg they 

are ready to go for half a one. On ordmary occasions they are reasonable 

and obli^ng enough, and will often carry you for nothmg from one Side 

to tlie other of a muddy street. m • r. t. 

You may know what countryman your isvoshtshik is, by the way m 
which he treats his horses. The German is sure to be the most reasonable. 
He speaks little to any body, and to his horse not at all. His reins and 
his whip form the only medium of communication between the man and 
the animal. The Finlander sits a quiet picture of indifference, only now 
and then brings out a long drawUng '' Naw! nawT through his t^th, 
and from the varied intonations of the one word, the horse is expected to 
divine the wishes of its master. The cabalistic word of the Lette is 
" Nooa, nooa r but to this he has recourse only in moments of great 
emergency ; when, for instance, his horse manifests a disposition not to stir 
from the spot, or a piggish determination to go any way rather than the 
way he is wanted to go. The most restless of charioteers is the Pole, who 
wriggles incessantly about, and whistles, hisses and howls without inter- 
mission, while the shaking of his reins and the cracking of his whip are 



40 



THE ISVOSHTSHIKS. 



kept up with equal perseverance. The Russian coachman, on the other 
hand, seems to trust more to the persuasiveness of his own eloquence, than 
to any tiling- else. He seldom uses his whip, and generally only knocks 
with it upon the foot-board of his sledge, by way of a gentle admonition 
to his steed, with whom meanwhile he keeps up a running colloquy, sel- 
dom giving him harder words than : " my brother," " my friend," " my 
little father," " my sweetheart," " my little white pigeon," &c. " Come, 
my pretty pigeon, make use of thy legs," he will say. " What now ? art 
bhnd ? come be brisk ! Take care of that stone there. Dost not see it ? 
There, that's right. Bravo ! hop, hop, hop ! steady, boy, steady ! Now, 
what art turning thy head aside for ? Look out boldly before thee ! 
Huzza ! Yukh, yukh !" 

One very important thing to know is, that our isvoshtshik, for the period 
of the drive, has become our serf, and that if we are people to abuse our 
power, we may assume the lord and master with impunity. If we speak 
to him, he will never think of replying to us otherwise than bareheaded. 
Our scolding he receives with a cheerful and submissive smile, our com- 
mands with prompt obedience. If he is to drive faster, the intimation is 
conveyed to him in the way intimations are usually conveyed to slaves, 
namely, through the medium of his back, on which the hand of his tempo- 
rary master writes down the order in a legible character. A Russian is 
bom with a bridle round liis neck, and every man whose hand is finn 
enough may seize the reins, and guide at his will the harnessed serf; but 
he whose hand is too weak to keep a tight hold of the reins, must be pre- 
pared to find more self-will about a Russian, than about the citizen of the 
freest nation in the universe. 

These, however, are reflections too serious for our present purpose. Put 
your isvoshtshik into good humour by a kind word or two, and you'll have 
your pleasure out of the lad. Though he be but a boy, he looks briskly 
and boldly into the wild confusion of a St. Petersburg street, guides his 
horse dexterously through the throng of carriages, and keeps up a running 
fire of words, addressed now to his horse, and now to those he meets. 
•* Padt/ee, jyadt/eeT* (Place, place!) he cries to the tedious waggon that 
bars his progress ; ''Beregissar (Have a care !)to the inattentive pedestrian. 
Should the crowd not be great, he suits his words to the rank and charac- 
ter of those he addresses. " Old soldier, step aside there !" " My little 
mother, have a care!' To those who abuse him he is not slow in his 
replies, which are generally quick and cutting ; but though he talk and 
jest incessantly, nothing that passes in the street escapes his attention. 
To one of his fraternity whom he meets, he points out any Httle deficiency 
in his harness, and to another who has not heard the call of a customer, 
he cries, <' He, brother, art sleeping ? folks call thee, and thou hearest not ! 
attention, boy, attention !" 

Though you speak no Russian, you will seldom find it difficult to make 
yourself understood to your isvoshtshik, who is in general quite a cosmo- 
polite and a man of the world, compared to those of his calling in other 
countries. He has had to deal with nearly all the nations of Asia in his 
time, and individuals from every country in Europe have held converse 
with him. Men of all orders and degrees^ from the beggar to the emperor, 
have sat behind his back. He knows how to demean himself suitably to 
each, and has a smattering of every language. He knows a little Tartar 
and a little French ; can understand some German, and 13 not altogether 



THE ISVOSHTSHIKS. 



41 



Ignorant of English ; and then, as to the language of eyes, fingers, and 
gesticulation, in these he is sure to be at home. If he have an Italian 
behind him, he will abuse his horse with an " Ecco kakoi canaille^ signor,** 
and a Mahometan he will be equally certain to commend to the protection 

of Allah. 

The constant plague of the isvoshtshik is the pedestrian, who in Russia 
is invested with immense privileges. In other countries a man thinks him- 
self bound to take care that he is not run over; but in Russia, he who walks 
afoot troubles himself but little about the matter, and thinks the coachman 
alone is bound to be careful. If the horse or carriage merely touch a foot 
passenger, without even throwing him down, the driver is liable to be 
flogged and fined ; should the pedestrian be thrown down, a flogging, Si- 
beria, and the confiscation of the whole equipage, are the mild penalties 
imposed by the law. " Have a care," cries the isvoshtshik. " Have a 
care thyself, and remember Siberia," is the probable reply of the leisurely 
wayfarer. The moment the cry is raised that a man has been run over, a 
brace of butshniks rush out from their watchboxes, and the carriage, whom- 
ever it may belong to, is carried away as a police prize. The poor coach- 
man is immediately bound, and the flattering prospect of an emigration to 
Siberia is immediately held forth to him, whether the accident h-ave arisen 
from his own fault or not. Cases of great severity sometimes occur ; but 
it is difficult to point out any other way of checking the wild way of driving 
in which the nobles frequently indulge. As it is, they are alwaj^s urging 
their poor fellows to go faster, and the consequence is, that, wide as the 
streets are, and severe as the law is, accidents are constantly occurring, and 
every now and then you hear that this prince's fine four-in-hand is in the 
clutches of the poHce, or that that count's coachman is undergoing an in- 
quiry. 

I was once witness myself of a ludicrous scene to which the dread of 
these severe enactments gave rise. The equipage of the Countess T. 
came rolling down the Nevskoi Prospekt, and had the misfortune to throw 
down a poor old woman, but, as was afterwards found, without doing her 
any other harm than frightening her. The ladies in the carriage fainted, but 
the coachman, having a lively picture of Siberia and the kngut before his 
mind's eye, put his whip into motion immediately, and the horses dashed 
off at a full gallop. All the butshniks in the neighbourhood joined immedi- 
ately in the chase, for on these occasions they give each other a signal. To 
seize the spirited horses by the reins was impossible ; but a few of the 
servitors of the police, bolder than their fellows, clung to the carriage 
behind, in the hope, probably, that, as it must stop some time or other, 
they would be able to make good their prize in the end. Coach, coachman, 
and horses, appeared all irretrievably lost. Prince L., an active young man 
and a friend of the countess, perceiving the danger to which she was ex- 
posed, rushed upon the carriage, and by main force tore away the two 
fellows that were clin^ng to it, and flung them into the snow. The 
butshniks. furious at the loss of their prize, now fell upon the poor prince, 
whom they dragged away to their wooden house ; but he struggled and 
kept the door open till he recognised among the crowd some powerful ac- 
quaintance, through whose intercession he was enabled to escape the con- 
sequences of his good-natured infraction of the laws. 

The world cannot present a more singular, or, in its way, a more 
magnificent spectacle, than the display of carriages in the Prospekt on a 



42 



THE ISVOSHTSHIKS. 



fine winter's day. The street is covered by a smooth hard surface of snow, 
over wliich the equipages rush silently along, the snorting of the steeds, 
and the admonishing ejaculations of the drivers, being the only sounds that 
are heard. There is something quite intoxicating in dri^dng up and down 
through the wild bounding sea of equipages. The palaces on both sides 
are gaily arraved by the beams of the sun ; the street, though broad, is 
filled to overflowing; the equipages are of all kinds and dimensions; 
here a modest isvoshtshik dashes along with a spruce clerk or a smart 
chambermaid behind him; there a splendid coach and four, filled with 
ladies, moves more leisurely along, and seems, compared to our humble 
sledges, a man-of-war sailing proudly among a fleet of cock-boats. 
Coaches and two announce the less ostentatious merchant. Handsome 
single-horse vehicles, meanwhile, are flying like lightning through the 
crowd, and " Shivaye, shivdye .'" (Faster, faster!) is the constant cry of the 
well-starred magnificoes within. These are the generals and ministers hurry- 
ing to their offices and various appointments, and parading their diamonds 
in so modest an equipage, in imitation of the emperor, while their wives 
are using up the breath of four steeds at least. Nay, the emperor himself, 
enveloped in his cloak, but unobserved by none, may pierce the throng, 
for his aff*airs are numberless in all quarters of the town. Gossudar ! 
gossudar ! (The lord ! the lord !) flies from mouth to mouth, and almost at 
the same moment the apparition has passed away. PadyeCy padyee, 
padyee! cry the little postilions, in a sharp and sustained note. A 
stranger, though he forget all else of Russian that he learned at St. 
Petersburg, will not forget the padyee, Idviyee, prdviyee, and beregissa, 
with which the charioteers steer their course through so arduous a navi- 
gation: and if there be nothing else which he has learned to love in 
Russia, he will at least love the recollection of his sledge -promenades, and 
will remember, with some kindness, his dexterous and willing isvoshtshik. 



CHAI^ER VI. 



THE WINTER. 



In the year 1836, and in the month of December, a man threw a piece of 
apple-peel out of liis Uttle air window in Moscow. The peel of the apple 
did not reach the street, but happening to strike against the ledge of the 
window, froze fast to it, and remained icebound on its way from the win- 
dow to the street, till it was set free by a thaw somewhere in the month of 
February, and was enabled to complete the journey on wliich it had set out 
six weeks and three days previously. This may afford a tolerable notion 
of the severity and perseverance of a Moscovite winter. 

Such a thing could not have occurred in St. Petersburg, for in the marshy 
delta of the Neva the temperature is more variable than in central Russia. 
The icy winds that blow firom Siberia are in some measure tempered by 
the influence of the Baltic. Rainy westwinds, freezing northeasters, thick 



THE WINTER. 



43 



foffS, and cheerful frosty days, are succeeding each other constantly, and 
keep up a struggle for mastery throughout the whole of the six months 
Ser A man is as little secure against ram and mud m Januarys a^ 
Sst frost and snow in April. In Moscow, on the contrary , the sky was 
nf vrkno^vn to drop a single tear of rain in December ; and neither among 
rrecordrofThf^^^^^ no? the traditions of its inhabitants, will you trace 
one instance of a pai'r of boots having been spotted with mud in Janua^. 
Ill St Petersburg, nevertheless, the thermometer falls much more fre- 
nuently to a very low point than in Moscow, where the average temperature 
r the whole winter is considerably higher than m the newer capital. 
The climate of St. Petersburg oscillates continually between two ex- 
tremes In summer the heat often rises to -f 30° (99^ of Fahrenheit), 
ir in Iter the cold as often falls to - 30° (55 below FaW- 
heit's zero). This gives to the temperature a range of 154 ot ± ahren 
heit, which probably exceeds that of any other city m Europe. It ib 
not merely in the co'urse of the year, however, but in the course of the 
same twenty-four hours, that the temperature is hable to great yanations 
In summer, after a hot sultry morning, a rough wind wiU set m towards 
eveninff, and drive the thermometer down 12^* immediately. In 
wTnter^also there is of^en a difference of 12° or 18° between the 
temperature of the morning and that of the night It would be impossible 
to Deserve existence in such a climate, if man did not endeavour to coun- 
teract its fickleness by his own unchangeableness. In Germany, where the 
transitions are less sudden, we endeavour to follow the vagaries of the 
weather, by putting on a cloak one day and leaving it off the next, by 
putting an additional log or two into the stove, or by economising our fiiel. 
In St. Petersburg people are less variable in their arrangements. The 
winter is considered to begin in October and end m May, and m the 
beffinninff of October every man puts on his furs, which are calculated for 
the severest weather that can come, and these furs are not laid aside agam 
till the winter is legitimately and confessedly at an end. Ihe stoves, 
meanwhile, are always kept heated in winter, that the house may never 
cool. Inconsiderate foreigners attempt sometimes to follow the caprices 
of the cUmate, and often pay for their temerity with illness and death. 

It is only when the cold falls to an unusual degree of seventy that 
any change takes place. When the thermometer stands at -- /U 
every man pricks up his ears, and becomes a careful observer of its nsmgs 
and fallings. At — 23° or 24° the poHce are put on the alert, and the 
officers go round day and night, to see that the sentinels and butshmks 
keep awake. Should any one be found nodding at his post, he is sum- 
marily and severely punished, for sleep at such a time is a sure state of 
transition from life to death. At — 25° aU the theatres are closed, as it 
is then thought impossible to adopt the necessary precautions for the satety 
of the actors on the stage, and of the coachmen and servants waiting m 
the street. The pedestrians, who at other times are rather leisurely in 
their movements, now run along the streets as though they were hastemng 
on some mission of life and death, and the sledges dash m tempo cetera^ 
tissimo over the creaking snow. I don't know the reason, but 20 



» Throughout the present work, Reaumur's thermometer must always ^J^er- 
stood to he the stantod hy which the temperature is measured. Each degree of 
K^aumuris equivalent to 2i« of Fahrenheit 



44 



THE WINTER. 



of cold in St. Petersburg signify a great deal more than in Germany, and 
are attended by more injurious consequences. Faces are not to be seen in 
the streets, for every man has drawn his furs over his head, and leaves but 
little of his countenance uncovered. Everyone is uneasy about his nose 
and his ears ; and as the freezing of these desirable appendages to the human 
face divine is not preceded by any uncomfortable sensation to warn the 
sufferer of his danger, he has enough to think of if he wish to keep liis ex- 
tremities in order. " Father, father, thy nose !' one man will cry to 
another as he passes him, or will even stop and apply a handful of snow 
to the stranger's face, and endeavour, by briskly rubbing the nasal promi- 
nence, to restore the suspended circulation. These are salutations to which 
people are accustomed, and as no man becomes aware of the fact when his 
own nose has assumed the dangerous chalky hue, custom prescribes among 
all who venture into the streets, a kind of mutual observance of each other's 
noses, a custom by which many thousands of these valued organs are yearly 
rescued from the clutches of the Russian Boreas. A man's eyes at this 
season cost him some trouble likewise, for they are apt to freeze up every 
now and then. On such occasions it is customary to knock at the door 
of the first house you come to, and ask permission to occupy a place for a 
few minutes by the stove. This is a favour never denied, and the stranger 
seldom fails to acknowledge it on his departure, by dropping a grateful 
tear on the hospitable floor. 

At twenty degrees of cold there are few St. Petersburg mothers wlio 
would allow their children to go into the open air. Ladies venture abroad 
only in close carriages, of which every aperture is closed by shps of fur. 
There are families at this season who will spend weeks without once tasting 
a mouthfiil of fresh air, and, at last, when the cold has reached its ex- 
treme point, none are to be seen in the streets but the poorest classes, un- 
less it be foreigners, people in business, or officers. As to these last^ the 
parades and mountings of guard are never interrupted by any degree of 
cold, and while the frost is hard enough to cripple a stag, generals and 
colonels of the guard may be seen in their glittering uniforms moving as 
nimbly and as unconcernedly about the windy Admiralty-square, as though 
they were promenading a ball-room. Not a particle of a cloak must be 
seen about them ; not a whisper of complaint must be heard. The em- 
peror's presence forbids both, for he exposes himself unhesitatingly to 
wind, snow, hail, and rain, and expects from his officers the same disregard 
of the inclemencies of the season. 

The Russian stoves are in their way the most complete things that can 
be imagined. They are built up witli glazed tiles, and such are the multi- 
tudinous passages, ascending and descending, that before the heat emitted 
by the fire has found its way into the chimney, it has often a distance of 
a hundred feet in length to pass through. The huge mass of stone which 
composes the stove is a long time before it gets warm ; but, once warm, 
it retains the heat for a whole day. Almost the only wood used in St. 
Petersburg as fuel is the wood of the birch tree. It is the cheapest to be 
had in the neighbourhood, and its embers are more lasting than those of 
the pine or fir. Now, the embers are to a Russian stove of the greatest 
importance, for it is from the embers, and not from the flame, that the 
stove is expected to derive its heat. So long as the wood continues in a 
blaze, whatever quantity may have been put in, the stove never gets tho- 
roughly warm ; it is only when by means of the ^skka, (a small plate of 



THE WINTER. 



45 



iron,) the passage from the stove into the chimney has been hermetically 
closed, that the heat begins to be sensibly felt in the room. The Russian 
stove-heaters are extremely dexterous in all the details of their occupation. 
Tongues and shovels are unknown to them. Their only instrument is a 
long iron poker mth a hook at the end of it. With this they keep stirring 
up the fiery mass, break up the embers, and pull forward the fragments of 
wood that are still burning, in order, by exposing them to the current of 
air, to accelerate their conversion. In every great house there is. at least 
one servant whose exclusive duty it is to look after the stoves, and to col- 
lect and prepare the requisite fuel. In order that the family may have 
a warm room to take their coffee in, in the morning, it is necessary that the 
stove-heater should begin his labours at an early hour of the night. In 
general he builds up a pile of logs within each stove the evening before, 
that the wood may be well dried, and then he sets fire to it early in the 
morning. The stoves usually open upon long passages, which are thus as 
effectually heated as the rooms themselves. 

If the yushka be closed before the wood be completely burnt into 
embers, a poisonous gas is emitted by the coals, and fatal consequences 
may ensue to those who are exposed to its influence. Such accidents do 
occasionally happen, and it is nothing uncommon in St. Petersburg to 
hear of people who have been suffocated by the fumes of their stoves ; but 
when the immense number of those stoves is taken into consideration, and 
that every floor and every part of the house have to be warmed for at least 
six months of the year, it must be admitted that accidents occur but 
rarely, and that the stove-heaters must display an admirable degree of judg- 
ment in thus always selecting the right moment for closing the yushka. In 
autumn the houses are usually damp, and in consequence cool, but in De- 
cember or January, after the stoves have all been in play for some montlis, 
every comer of a Russian house becomes thoroughly dry, and then behind 
the double windows and the threefold doors, there prevails throughout the 
day an equable, agreeable, and mild temperature of from 14° to 15°. 

The erecting of one of these Russian stoves is a work of art, to which 
it is not every man who is equal. Much consideration and no little judg- 
ment are required in suiting the locality of the stove to the distribution of 
the apartments. The most distinguished artists in this line are almost in- 
variably natives of what is called Great Russia, and throughout the em- 
pire it is to them almost exclusively that an office is assigned of such 
importance in a Russian establishment. 

In every Russian house the stove plays an important part, particularly 
so in the houses of the poor. There the stove is often of extraordinary 
dimensions, and serves for cooking and baking food, as well as for warm- 
ing the room. Round it are placed benches, where at their leisure the in- 
mates may enjoy the luxury of increased heat, for to these denizens of the 
north the imbibing of caloric is among the highest of enjoyments. In 
the stove itself, a variety of niches and indentations are made, where va- 
rious articles are laid to dry, and wet stockings and linen are constantly 
hanging about it. On the platform, at the top, lie beds, on which, 
wrapped up in their sheepskin cloaks, the inmates often abandon them- 
selves to the twofold luxury of idleness and perspiration. 

The Russian stoves, after all, however, are the most unpoetical, if not 
the least comfortable, of all the means by which human ingenuity haa 



f^i 



46 



THE WINTER. 



THE WINTER. 



47 



■J 



contrived to generate an artificial heat. The Spanbh brasero, the Italian 
cammino, the English fireside, and the half-open German stove, that 
affords at least a peep at the active minister within, all these form 
attractive centres, round which humanity congregates, and around which 
social converse is generated, and an interchange of ideas promoted, while 
the agreeable warmth of the flame is enjoyed. A Russian stove, on the 
contrary, is a mute, sulky-looking companion, whose enormous size makes 
it difficult ever to give liim a graceful exterior. In general, the stove is a 
large, clumsy, ohlong mass, that rises nearly to the ceiling of the room, 
to which it is a disfigurement rather than a decoration. In the houses of 
the rich, therefore, the stove is concealed, as much as possible, by mirrors 
and other articles of furniture, or is made wholly invisible by being con- 
structed within the partition wall. 

The double windows, which are often found even in the houses of the 
poorest peasants, contribute greatly to the warmth of Russian houses. As 
early as October the house may be said to go into winter quartei-s. 
Double windows are affixed to every room ; every aperture through which 
a little air might find its way is carefully covered, and slips of paper are 
pasted over the edges of all the windows. Here and there a window is so 
constructed that a single pane may now and then be opened to let in a 
little air. In this close and confined atmosphere the family live and have 
their being, till the returning May ushers in the first fine weather, and 
gives the signal that fresh air may again be permitted to circulate through 
the interior of the mansion. 

In the intermediate space formed by the double windows, it is cus- 
tomary to place sand or salt, either of which, by absorbing moisture, is 
supposed to increase the warmth. The salt is piled up in a variety of 
fanciful forms, and the sand is usually formed into a kind of garden deco- 
rated with artificial flowers. These bloom and blossom through the 
winter in their glassy cases, and as in these arrangements every family 
displays its own little fancies and designs, it may affbrd amusement, to 
those who are not above being amused by trifles, to walk the streets on a 
fine winter-morning, and admire the infinite variety of decorations pre- 
sented by the double windows. 

Quite as much care is expended upon the doors as upon the windows. 
It is a common thing to pass, not merely two, but three doors, before 
you enter the warmed passage of a house; and this is the case, not 
only in - private houses, but also in public buildings, such as theatres, , 
churches, &c. 

The poor suffer far less from cold in St. Petersburg than in cities under 
a milder heaven. In different parts of the town there are large rooms, 
which are constantly kept warm, and to which every one has at all times 
free access. In front of the theatres, large fires are kept burning for the 
benefit of coachmen and servants ; but the furs and warm apparel in which 
even beggars are sure to be clad, and the alr-and-water-tlght construction 
of their houses, are the chief security of all classes against the severity of 
their chmate. As soon as the thermometer falls to — 25°, the sentinels all 
receive fur cloaks, in which they look grotesque enough, when marching 
up and down in front of the palaces. With all these precautions, how- 
ever, the intense cold that sometimes prevails for weeks together, converts 
many a specimen of living humanity into a senseless statue of ice. This 



is owing more to the manners of the people than to the want of suitable 
protection ; to drunkenness and idleness among the poor, and to hard- 
heartcdness, or more properly to inconsiderateness, among the rich. 

The Russians, with all their liveliness of character, are by no means 
fond of any kind of exertion; and all gymnastics, whether mental or 
bodily, are odious to them. In cold weather they creep behind the stove, 
or bury themselves in furs, instead of battling against the frost with their 
arms and legs, as those of any other nation would do. The butshnik 
creeps into his wooden house ; the soldier, if he dare, into his sentry-box ; 
and the isvoshtshik rolls himself up into a sort of 'tangled ball, under the 
mats of his sledge. In these positions many of them are surprised by 
sleep, and fall victims to the frost. The sentinel is found an inanimate 
statue in his box, the butshnik is drawn forth a mere mummy, and the 
poor driver is taken a petrified cripple from his sledge. The immoderate 
use of spirits in which the lower people indulge very much augments the 
danger. The great majority of those who are frozen to death are the 
victims of intoxication. A severe frost never sets in, in St. Petersburg, 
without finding a number of drunken men sleeping in the streets ; and 
sleep on such an occasion is the usual stage of transition to death. The 
inconsiderate conduct of the rich towards their servants is another and a 
frequent cause of death. It is incredible how much the poor coachmen, 
footmen, and postilions, are expected to endure. People will often go to 
the theatre or to a party, and leave their equipages in the street the whole 
evening, that they may be able to command their services at a moment's 
notice. The coachman then finds it difficult to resist the inclination to 
sleep ; and the little twelve-year-old postilions, not yet accustomed 
to watch till midnight, hang slumbering on their horses, or, winding 
the reins round their arms, slip down and lie cowering on the frozen 
snow. Many a poor coachman has thus lost his nose, or has had his 
hands and feet disabled, while his master was feasting his palate or his 
ears, or indulging a voluptuous sympathy for fictitious sorrow. Fortu- 
nately for the Russian serf, the freezing to death is one of the easiest and 
least painful deaths which he is ever likely to suffer. Nay, some say that 
the sensation which accompanies it is not without some degree of enjoy- 
ment, and those who are roused from the slumber which in these cases 
usually precedes death, seldom show at first any thankfulness to those 
who have disturbed them in their passage to another world. 

Extreme cold is usually accompanied by cheerfril and quiet weather, so 
that the magnificent city of St. Petersburg rarely appears to greater 
advantage than when the thermometer stands at SO'^ below Reau- 
mur's zero (35 below Fahrenheit's), when the sun shines brilliantly in a 
clear sky, while its rays are reflected by millions of icy crj^stals. From 
houses and churches dense columns of smoke slowly ascend. The snow 
and ice in the streets and on the Neva are white and clean, and the 
whole city seems clothed in the garments of innocence. Water becomes 
ice almost in the act of being poured upon the ground. Every one in the 
streets appears to be running for his life, and indeed is literally doing so, 
for it is only by rujming that he can hope to keep life in him. The 
trodden snow crackles and murmui*s forth the strangest melodies, and 
every sound seems to be modified by the influence of the atmosphere. 



il 



48 



CHAPTER VII. 



THE MARKETS. 



THE MARKETS. 



49 



I I 



The Russians have a custom very agreeable to one desirous of buying, 
namely, the custom of offering for sale within the same building almost 
every thing that is likely to be bought. A stranger need not, therefore, 
inquire where this or that article is to be found ; all he has to do, in 
general, is to go to one of the great markets or bazaars, and he will seldom 
fail to find the article he is in search of. Provisions are, of course, ex- 
cepted, for which there are distinct markets. 

The great bazaars of a Russian town, where all the most important 
articles of commerce are united, are called gostinnoye dvorui. They are 
mostly large buildings, consisting of a ground floor and an upper floor. 
The upper floor is generally reserved for wholesale deahngs ; the ground 
floor consists of a multitude of booths or shops in which the various de- 
scriptions of merchandise are sold by retail. The dwellings of the mer- 
chants are away from these markets ; and when the business hours are at 
an end, each merchant locks up his own stall, and commits the whole 
building for the night to the guardianship of watchmen and dogs. 

In every Russian city of any importance there is sure to be one such 
gt)stinnoi dvor, the extent of which may afford the travelling student in 
statistics a very fair standard by which to measure the commercial activity 
of the place. Even in the German cities of the Baltic provinces, as in 
Mittau, Dorpat, &c., the Russians have established such gostinnoye dvorui^ 
and it is only in the maritime cities, as in Odessa, Riga, Libau, &c., that 
they are not yet to be found. 

Nowhere do the pares congregate more with the paribus than in 
Russia. Not only are the merchants thus collected together under one 
roof, but the community thus formed is again split up into a variety of 
fractions, those who deal in similar articles keeping closely together. This 
holding of like to like seems almost innate with the Russians, for those 
articles which, on account of their bulky natui*e, are excluded from the 
gostinnoi dvor, such as ironware, firewood, furniture, &c., have each of 
them separate markets of their own, which are known by the generic term 
oirddi. It is tlie same with the ruinoks, or provision markets, of which 
there are distinct ones for meat, for fish, for hay, for eggs, and so on. 

The gostinnoi dvor will be found, for the most part, to occupy a very 
central position in a Russian city, while the secondary markets are re- 
moved towards the outskirts. The gostinnoi dvor it must, however, be 
borne in mind, offers for sale only articles of domestic or of Asiatic pro- 
duction. The fabrics of western Europe seldom find a place there, but 
are usually retailed in shops situated in the most frequented streets. In 
the g^eat provincial cities, the private shops are completely eclipsed by 
the gostinnoi dvor ; but not so in the comparatively Europeanised St. 
Petersburg, though even there, the goods displayed in the principal market 
far exceed, both in quantity and in value, those that will be found in all 
the private shops put together. 

The colossal building of which we have been speaking has one side in 
the Nevskoi Prospekt, and another in the Bolkhaia Sadovaia, or Great 



Garden-street, through which, and some of the adjoining streets, it extends 
a number of ramifications of shops and booths, giving to that part of the 
town, throughout the year, the appearance of a perpetual fair. The better 
descriptions of Russian goods will all be found in the Gostinnoi Dvor ; 
those of inferior value in the adjoining markets, the Apraxin Ruinok and 
the Tshukin Dvor, which lie a little farther on in the Bolkhaia Sadova'ia. 
Following the last named street, which is bordered throughout its whole 
length by shops and booths, we at last arrive at an open place, the Sennaia 
Ploshtshod or hay place, which may be considered the principal provision 
market of St. Petersburg. 

In the same way, in passing along the Prospekt, shops and booths present 
themselves in a constant succession to our view. When we have passed the 
silver shops we come to the dealers in fruit, then to the iron vaults ; these 
are followed by the carriage magazines, the depots for wood and coals, 
the furniture dealers, and so on, till in the vicinity of the Nevski monastery 
we arrive at the Simnaia Ploshtshod or winter market, with its endless 
store of sledges and waggons. In the same quarter are also the horse 
market and the cattle market. There are a few markets in other quarters, 
such as the Krugloi Ruinok or round market, but these are comparatively 
of little importance. 

The gostinnoi dvor is well deserving of a stranger's attention, not 
merely on account of the various goods offered for sale, many of them of a 
kind unknown to other parts of Europe, but also on account of the mixed 
crowd constantly moving about, and of the characteristic civility of the 
dealers, and their unwearied endeavours to overreach their customers. All 
these things make this quarter of St. Petersburg one of the most amusing 
and instinctive lounges for a stranger desu-ous to study the character of 
the people and their city. 

All the lanes and alleys that intersect the gostinnoi dvor are deluged 
throughout the day by a stream of sledges and droshkies, in which the 
cooks, the stewards, and the other servants of the great houses, come to 
make their daily purchases. In a city containing half a million of inha 
bitants, there must at all times be a great and urgent demand for a vast 
variety of articles, but there are many reasons why this should be more 
the case in St. Petersburg than in any other capital. In the first 
place, there is no other European capital where the inhabitants are con- 
tent to make use of goods of such inferior quality, or where consequently 
they have such frequent occasion to buy new articles, or to have the old 
ones repaired. Then there is no other capital where the people are so 
capricious and so fond of change. The wealthy Russians are here one 
day, and gone the next ; now travelling for the benefit of their health, 
now repairing to the country, to re-establish their finances by a temporary 
retirement, and then reappearing on the banks of the Neva, to put their 
hundreds of thousands into circulation. This constant fluctuation leads 
daily to the dissolution and to the formation of a number of esta- 
bhsliments, and makes it necessary that there should be at all times 
a greater stock of all things necessary to the outfit of a family, than 
would be requisite in a town of equal extent, but of a more stable popu- 
lation. ^ ^ 

A Russian seldom buys any thing till just when he wants to use it, and as 
he caimot then wait, he must have it ready to his hand. Boots, saddler)^. 



50 



THE MARKETS. 



wearing-apparel, confectionery, and other articles, which with us are gene- 
rally ordered beforehand from a tradesman, are here bought ready for 
immediate use. Each article has its separate row of shops, and the mul- 
titude of these rows is so great, that a stranger may often be heard to in- 
quire, "My little father, where is the row of fur booths?" "My little 
mother, where is the cap row ?" " Pray show me the stocking row ?*' 
** My little father, tell me the way to the petticoat row." 

If the throng of buyei*s is calculated to amuse a stranger, he will be 
likely to find still more diversion, as he lounges along the conidors, in 
observing the characteristic manners of the merchants. These gostinnoi 
dvor merchants are almost invariably flaxen haired, brown bearded, shrewd 
fellows, in blue caftans, and blue cloth caps, the costumes uniformly worn 
by merchants throughout Russia. They are constantly extolling their 
wares in the most exaggerated terms to those who are passing by. " What 
is your pleasure, sir ? Clothes ? I have them here ; the very best, and 
all of the newest fashion.'* — " Here are hats of the first quality, and by 
the best makers." " Kasan boots of the choicest description ! isvoltye, 
isvoltye !" — " Shto vam ugodno 'ss ? (what woidd suit you ?) a bear-slan, 
a fox-skin, or a cloak of wolf-skin ? You will find every thing here ; pray, 
walk in." Cap in hand, they are always ready to open their doors to every 
passer by, and are incessant in the exercise of their eloquence, whatever 
may be the rank, station, or age of those they address. They will not 
hesitate to offer a bear-skin mantle to a little fellow scarcely strong 
enough to carry it, recommend their coarsely fashioned boots to a passing 
dandy, invite an old man to purchase a child's toy, or solicit a young girl 
to carry away a sword or a fowHngpiece. Where the merchant does not 
act as his own crier, he usually entertains somebody to officiate in his 
place, and it may easily be imagined what life and animation these constant 
cries and solicitations must give to the whole market. Preachers and actors 
have generally a tone peculiar to their several classes, and even so has the 
gostinnoi dvor merchant, whose voice may be known afar off, but who im- 
mediately alters that tone when a fish shows a disposition to fasten on the 
bait, for then commences a more serious discussion of the merits and quality 
of his merchandise. 

No light or fire is allowed in the building, unless it be the sacred lamps 
that are kept burning before the pictures of the saints, and which are sup- 
posed to be too holy to occasion any danger. The merchants are, in con- 
sequence, often exposed to intense cold, but this they endure with admir- 
able fortitude and cheerfulness. Over their caftans, it is true, they put on 
a close fur coat of white wolf-skin, a piece of apparel worn by every gos- 
tinnoi dvor merchant, of the same cut and material. 

Even without including the peasants who offer provisions for sale, there 
are probably not much less than 10,000 merchants and dealers of different 
degrees assembled in the gostinnoi dvor of St. Petersburg, and its dependent 
buildings. Of these people, few have their household establishments in 
the vicinity of the market, yet all have the wants of hunger to satisfy in 
the course of the day, and it may therefore be easily imagined, that a host 
of serviceable traders have attached themselves to the establishment for the 
mere convenience of the merchants. Among the streets and lane^ of the 
bazaar there are constantly circulating, retailers of tea with their large 
gteaming copper urns; quass sellers; together with> dealers in bread 



THE MARKETS. 



51 



sausagesi cheese, &c. ; and all these people receive constant encourage- 
ment from the ever hungry kupsni. Careworn looks are as little seen in 
this market, as grumbling tones are heard ; for a Russian seldom gives 
houseroom to care or melancholy, and yet more rarely gives utterance to 
a complaint. Nor indeed has he occasion ; for in this rising country, 
Slav a Bogu ! (God be thanked !) be the merchandize ever so bad, trade 
goes on nevertheless. In other countries, a merchant relies upon the good- 
ness of his merchandize for custom ; the Russian speculator, I firmly be- 
lieve, calculates that the worse his wares, the sooner will his customers want 
to renew their stock. 

The Russian is by nature a light-hearted creature, and by no means 
given to reflection. You will seldom see the gostinnoi dvor merchant 
engaged with writings or calculations. If not occupied by a customer, or 
busy in his endeavours to attract one, you will mostly find him romping, 
playing, or jesting with his brother traders. In fine weather, draughts is 
their favourite game ; and for greater convenience, the chequered field is 
often painted on the tables or benches that stand before their booths. 
They eagerly thrust their heads together, examine the position of the 
pieces with the air of connoisseurs, bet on one player or the other, and 
seem completely absorbed in the game, until a purchaser makes his appear- 
ance, when the group is broken up in a moment, and each endeavours, 
with an infinity of bowings and assurances, to gain for his own shop the 
honour of the stranger's custom. In winter, they often warm themselves 
in the roomy passages of the bazaar, with a game at football, or crowd 
together round the steaming samovar, and sip down cans full of hot tea. 
Sometimes they amuse themselves with their nightingales and other 
singing birds, of which they have always a great number about them ; 
and sometimes — well, sometunes they fold their caftans leisurely about 
them, stretch forth their arms, and indulge themselves in — a yawn ; but 
they never neglect, every now and then, to step before their Bog, or saint, 
and, with a devout inclination of the body, to pray to him fcr success in 
trade. 

With the exception of furs, many of which are of excellent quality, 
there are in the gostinnoi dvor, properly so called, few but the iron and 
wax shops where the articles are thoroughly Russian. Most of the 
merchandise consists of bad imitations of foreign fabrics. As the goods, 
so the customers. Both are Europeanised, for there is little in the Frenchi- 
fied soubrettes, the lackies in livery, the employes in uniform, and the 
foreign teachers, to remind one of Russian nationaUty ; but a Uttle farther 
on, when you enter the gates of the Apraxin Ruinock and the Tshukin 
Dvor, you come to bazaars where sellers, buyers, and wares are all equally 
and entirely Russian ; and here, in the very centre of the palaces and plate 
glass of St. Petersburg, in this capital of princes and magnates, there 
unfolds itself to your view, a motley dirty populace, precisely similar to 
what may be supposed to have thronged the fairs of Novgorod in the 
middle ages, or may still be seen in the bazaars of any of the provincial 
cities of Russia. 

The population of St. Petersburg, from the highest to the lowest, is 
constantly changing. The stationary portion is by far the least numerous, 
the majority look upon the city only as a temporary residence. The nobleg 
are ever coining and going ; foreigners hope to enrich themselves that they 

e2 



52 



THE MARKETS. 



THE MARKETS. 



53 



i 



may return to their native countries ; the gaiTison, and all attached to it, 
must always be prepared to change their quarters ; the civil servants of 
the government seldom remain long at one post, hut are liable at a few 
days' notice to be ordered off to the most remote provinces ; and the 
lower classes, such as servants, mechanics, and labourers, are, for the most 
part, serfs, who have received only a temporary leave of absence, at the 
expii'ation of which they are expected to return to the estates to which 
they belong. Even the isvoshtshiks in the streets are a nomadic race, 
plying for custom this year in St. Petersburg, the next in Moscow, and 
the succeeding one perhaps in Odessa or Astrakhan. St. Petersburg, in 
fact, like most Russian cities, is a place of rendezvous, where men con- 
gregate for a time ; but not like our German cities, a home in which 
families attach themselves like ivy to the stone walls, and vegetate away 
for centuries. Tlie mass of the population of St. Petersburg undergoes 
a complete change in less than ten years ; and to this constant fluctuation 
I attribute the vast extent of the rag-fair, and the astonishing quantity of 
old furniture and old clothes, which are sold at a low pi-ice by those who 
take their departure, and disposed of again at a handsome profit to the 
newly arrived. 

Thousands enter the city daily, without knowing whether on the 
morrow they shall become cooks or carpenters, masons or musicians, or 
whether, on stripping off their village dress, they shall assume the livery of 
a lackey, or the caftan of a merchant. For all their wants, the Apraxin 
Ruinok and the Tshukin Dvor are prepared. Nay, should a Samoyede 
from Siberia, or a Huron from America, come naked into these ruinoks, 
he may leave them again in a few minutes, provided with every imagi- 
nable article necessary to equip him as a civilised Russian ; for ill as 
sounds the name of voshevoi ruinok^ which in St. Petersburg is generally 
given to these markets, and which I will not here translate to my readers, 
lest they should conceive an unfair prejudice against the place, still it 
woidd be a great mistake to suppose that nothing but what w as old and 
ragged was here exposed for sale. 

These two markets occupy a piece of ground about 1500 feet square, 
containing, therefore, a surface of rather more than two millions of square 
feet. The whole is so closely covered with stalls and booths, that nothing 
but narrow lanes are left between ; and supposing each booth, including 
the portion of lane in front of it, to occupy 500 square feet, which is cer- 
tainly making a very liberal allowance, it would follow that there must be 
within the two bazaars nearly 5000 booths, tents, and stalls.^ These form 
a city of themselves. The tops of the booths frequently project and meet 
those that are opposite to them, making the little lanes between as dark as 
the alleys of the Jews' quarters in some of our old German towns, or like 
the streets of many an oriental city at the present day. Through narrow 
gates you pass from the busy Garden-street into this gloomy throng, where 
a well-dressed human being might be looked for in vain ; where all are 
** black people;" all bearded, furred, and thoroughly un-European. 

Under the gateways are suspended large lamps and gaudy pictures of 
saints, and these present themselves anew at every comer as you proceed 
through the lanes of the market. Here and there you come to an open 
space in which a little chapel has been erected, and so gaily fitted up, you 
would fancy a Chinese pagoda had served for the model. All this, how- 
ever, is insufficient to content the piety of the Russians, who often build a 







wooden bridge between two opposite booths, for the convenience of sus- 
pending a few additional lamps and saints. By the side of the chapel 
there is seldom wanting that other building which, next to the chapel, is 
the most indispensable to a Russian, namely, the kaback or brandy- 
shop, which is often very gaily decorated, and where spirits, beer, and 
quass, may constantly be had. 

" Slip your arms into your fur sleeves, and button your beaver collar 
close about your ears," said my companion to me, the first time I ventured 
into the ruinok, for I had allowed those articles of my wardrobe to hang 
loosely behind, as is the usual custom in Russia. " We are here," he con- 
tinued, " in the thieves' quarter of St. Petersburg, and every thing that is 
left loose is considered a fair prize. Put your rings into your pocket, for 
there are those who would cut off your finger for the sake of the gold ; 
and if it was kno>vn where you carried your pocket-book, you would have 
a hole in your cloak immediately." Indeed common fame says that 
people have sometimes been strangely clipped and cut by the hordes 
that occupy these wild regions ; but as far as I am concerned, I am 
bound to say that nothing of the kind ever happened to me, though I 
have often enough, and carelessly enough, wandered through the mazes 
of this great labyrinth of a fair. 

Here also, in the true Russian spirit, like has paired with like. In one 
comer, for instance, all the dealers in sacred images have congregated. 
The Russians, who believe themselves abandoned by God and all good 
angels; as soon as they are without His visible and tangible presence, or, 
rather, who think every place the Devil's own ground, until the priest has 
driven him out of it, and who, therefore, decorate their bodies, their 
rooms, their doors, and their gates, as well as their churches, with sacred 
images, require, of course, a very large and constant supply of the article, 
of which, in fact, the consumption is enormous. The little brass crosses, 
and the Virgins, the St. Johns, the St. Georges, and other amulets, may 
be seen piled up in boxes like gingerbread nuts at a fair. On the wait 
of the booths are hung up pictures of all sorts and sizes, radiant with mock 
gold and silver. Some are only a few Inches in length and breadth. Of 
these a nobleman's footman will buy a few score at a time, as necessary to 
the fitting up of a new house, for in eveiy room a few of these holy little 
articles must be nailed up against the wall. For village churches, for 
private chapels, and for devout merchants of the old faith, there are 
pictures of several ells square, before which a whole household may 
prostrate themselves at their ease. Some are neatly set in mahogany- 
frames of modem fashion, others are still adomed in the good old style 
with pillars, doors, and temples of silver wire ; some are new, and from the 
pencils of students of the newly-established St. Petersburg Academy of Arts, 
but the greater part are old, and present figures often nearly obliterated 
by the dust and smoke of centimes. To these it is, particularly when 
they can be warranted to have once adomed the wall of a church, that 
the lower orders in Russia attach the greatest value, just as our German 
peasants prefer an old, dirty, well-thumbed hymn-book, to one just fresh 
from the binder's. 

In another part of the market will be found a whole quarter of fruit- 
shops, in which an incredible quantity of dried fmit is offered for sale. 
Each of these shops is as oddly decorated as its fellows. In the centre, 
on an elevated pedestal, there stands generally a rich battery of bottles 



rh ill 



"77 



U 



THE MARKETS. 



THE MARKETS. 



66 



and boxes of conserves, mostly manufactured at Kieff. Round the walls, 
in small boxes, the currants, raisins, almonds, figs, and oranges are ar- 
ranged, while huge sacks and chests of prunes, nuts, and juniper-berries, 
retire more modestly into comers ; and large tuns full of glukvi, a small 
red berry of which the Russians are passionately fond, stand sentinels at 
the door. These are mostly sold in winter, when they are generally 
frozen to the consistency of flint stones, and are measured out with 
wooden shovels to amateurs. Inside and outside, these shops are deco- 
rated with large festoons of mushrooms, at all times a favourite dish with 
the common people in Russia. I am surprised that no good artist should 
ever have chosen one of these picturesque Russian fruit-shops for the sub- 
ject of his pencil. Such a booth, with its bearded dealers and its no less 
bearded customers, would make an admirable tableau de genre ; but the 
painters of St. Petersburg, I suppose, find it more profitable to cover their 
canvass with one insipid set of features after another, and to expend all 
the gorgeousness of their colouring on the uniforms and diamonds of the 
upper strata of society. 

Go on a little farther, and you come to whole rows of shops full of 
pretty bridal ornaments ; gay metal wedding-crowns, such as it is cus- 
tomary dming the ceremony to place upon the heads of bride and bride- 
groom, and artificial wreaths and flowers, of a very neat fabric, and all at 
very reasonable prices. A whole garland of roses, for instance, tastefully 
interwoven with silver wire, at 80 copeks, or little more than sixpence. A 
bride might here be handsomely decorated from head to foot for a few shil- 
lings ; and as among the humbler classes of St. Petersburg, some thirty 
weddings are daily solemnized, without speaking of other festive cele- 
brations, it may easily be conceived what piles of ornaments of various 
kinds are constantly kept on hand to supply the wants of brides and 
bridemaids, birthday guests, and the like. 

Whole groups of shops are filled with perfumes, incense, and various 
articles for fumigation. Others with honey from Kasan and Tulo, neatly 
laid out in wooden vessels, some as clean as the milk pans in the caves of 
Homer's Cyclops, while others, of a less attractive look, remind one 
rather of Limburg cheese in an advanced state of decay. 

However perilous in this market may be the condition of finger-rings, and 
the pendant articles of a visiter's costume, the ducats and silver rubles on the 
tables of the money-changers must enjoy a tolerable security, for these tables 
are seen at every comer, with the different descriptions of coin set forth in 
tempting little piles, while throngs are passing to and fro, among whom, 
one woidd suppose, a few knaves might easily gratify their amor nummi 
by a sudden scramble, with a very fair prospect of escaping immediately 
afterwards in the crowded avenues of the market. An apparently acci- 
dental push, and all the rich ganiiture of the table would He scattered 
in the dirt ; and while all were busy in assisting the banker in the 
recovery of his capital, who would be able to point out the dexterous thief 
who had appropriated a few mbles to his private use ? Yet these 
money changers must feel secure in their avocation, or one would hardly 
see tables, with thousands of rubles upon them, committed to the care of 
boys scarcel}' twelve years old. The Russian rogue will pass off the 
worst merchandise at the highest price with an unscathed conscience ; nor 
will he hesitate, if opportunity serve, to transfer another's purse to his 
own pocket ; but the tables of these money-changers seem to stand under 



I 



the aeffis of the public. I have myself seen a table accidently overthrown 
bv the pressure of the crowd, when the sheepskin multitude around joined 
in aidinff the juvenile banker to re-collect his scattered treasure, and all 
• the gold and silver and copper coins were carefuUy picked up, till not a 

^ copek was missing. , . .^i • i i. i. xi. 

The pastrycooks also have their quarter m this market, where tiiey 
vend the oily fish pirogas, of which the bearded Russians are so passion- 
ately fond. " Here Uttle benches are ranged around the table on which 
are placed the dainty delicacies, covered with oily pieces of canvass, for the 
] piroffa to be property enjoyed must be eaten warm. A large pot of 

; ereen oil and a salt-stand of no ordinary size, are the indispensable 

Iccompaniments to the feast. Pass one of these shops, and throw an 
accidental glance at his wares, and the merchant will be sure to anticipate 
your desires ; quickly he will plunge his tempting cake into the oil pot, 
-m scatter a pinch of salt upon the dripping mass, and present it to you with 

^ the air of a prince. The sheepskinned bearded Moscovite will rarely be 

able to resist the temptation ; he will seat himself on one of the benches, and 
one rich savoury piroga after the other wUl wend its way down his throat, 
tUl his long and well anointed beard becomes as bnght and glossy as a 
piece of highly-polished ebony. Some of my readers may turn with dis- 
gust from the picture here presented to them, but, for my own part, I 
was always too much amused by the wit and politesse of these oil -hckers, 
to expend much indignation on their repulsive wares. Even the coarsest 
and dirtiest article of merchandise will be presented with a courtly and 
insinuating demeanour by these rough-looking bearded fellows ; even a 
greasy piroga, dripping with green oil, will be accompanied by a neatly 
turned compliment or a lively jest, and the few copeks paid for it wiU be 
sure to be received with expressions of the warmest thankfulness. 

Every article almost in the Tolkutshi Ruinok may be described as cheap 
and nasty, and yet what vistas of yet worse and worse wares unfold them- 
selves as you wander on to the outskirts of the market, where disbanded 
apparel and invalided furniture are exposed for sale. Things may^ be 
seen there, of which it is difficult to imagine that they can stiU retain a 
money value. Rags, bits of ribbon, fragments of paper, and broken 
glass ; clothes that the poorest isvoshtshik has dismissed from his sendee, 
and petticoats that the humblest housemaid has thought herself bound to 
lay aside. Yet all these things, and others, wliich a gostinnoi dvor mer- 
chant would scarcely use except to warm his stove, are not arranged 
without some show of taste and elegance, nor are they offered without a 
multitude of civil speeches and lofty panegyrics to the barefooted beggar, 
to the gipsey and Jewess, who timidly hover around the rich repositories, 
and cast many a longing glance at the many things with which they 
might cover their nakedness or decorate their huts, but the possession of 
which they are unable to purchase with the copper coin within their 
grasp. The crumbs swept from the tables of the rich are here gathered 
j together ; and though the joint stock of many of these shops be not 

\ worth one of the blue notes staked at a card-table in the salon of a 

i noble, yet each article has its estimated value, below which it wUl not 

i be parted with, — no not for one quarter of a copek. 

' Perhaps for a stranger, the most interesting portion of this world of 

markets, is that of the Tshukin Dvor, where the birds are sold. Two long rows 
of booths are full of Hving specimens of ornithology : pigeons, fowls, geese, 






I j» 



56 



THE MARKETa 



ducks, swans, larks, bulfinclies, siskins, and hundreds of other singing birds 
are there collected, and form the most picturesque and variegated me- 
nageries that can be imagined. Each booth is of wood, and open in the 
front, so that the whole of its contents may be seen at once by the pass- 
ing stranger, who is saluted with such a concert of cackhng, crowing, 
chattering, cooing, piping, and warbHng, as would suffice to furnish the 
requisite supply of idyllic melodies for a hundred villages. Between the 
opposite booths are usually such bridges as I have already described, from 
which the pictures of saints are suspended, for the edification of the de- 
vout. On these bridges, and on the roofs of the booths, whole swarms of 
pigeons are constantly fluttering about, the peaceful Russian being a 
great lover of this gentle bird. Each swarm knows its own roof, and 
the birds allow themselves to be caught without much difficulty, when a 
bargain is about to be concluded. The pigeon is never eaten by a Rus- 
sian, who would hold it a sin to harm an animal, in whose form the Holy 
Ghost is said to have manifested itself. Pigeons are bought, therefore, 
only as pets, to be fed and schooled by their masters. It is curious to see 
a Russian mercliant directing the flight of his docile scholars. With a 
little flag fastened to a long staff" he conveys his signals to them, makes 
them at liis will rise higher in the air, fly to the right or left, or drop to 
the eround as if struck by a bullet from a rifle. 

The poor little singing bii-ds, — the larks, nightingales, linnets, bulfinches, 
&c., — niust be of a hardier race than in more southern lands ; for in spite 
of the bitter frost, they chirrup away merrily, and salute with their songs 
eveiT straggling ray of sunshine that finds its way into their gloomy 
abodes. The little creatures receive during the whole long winter not one 
drop of water, for it would be useless to offer them what a moment after- 
wards would be converted into a petrified mass. Their httle troughs are 
accordingly filled only with snow, which they must liquify in their own 
beaks when they wish to assuage their thirst. 

Moscow is famed for its cocks, and here the Moscow cock may be seen 
proudly stalking about, in cages and out of them. The best pigeons are 
said to come from Novgorod, and Finland furnishes the chief supply of 
singing birds. Greese are brought even from the confines of China, to be 
sold as rarities in the Tshukin Dvor, after a journey of more than 4000 
miles. Grey squirrels may be seen rolling about in their cages like incar- 
nate quicksilver ; while rabbits and guinea-pigs without number gambol 
their time away in their little wooden hutches. Within the booth, a living 
centre of all this living merchandise, behold the merchant, closely en- 
sconced in his wolf- skin, and ready to dispose of his little feathered serfs 
at any acceptable price. At the back of the booth, be sure, there hangs 
a saintly picture of some sort, its little lamp shedding a cheerful light to 
guard tne feathered crowd against the evil influence of intrudhig demons ; 
but there are evil spirits that the good saint cannot banish. Man is 
there, to hold in chains or to sentence to death, according as it may suit 
his calculations of profit, or the caprices of his palate. On shelves around 
are ranged the trophies of his murderous tube, and the northern swans, 
the heathcocks (reptshiki), and the snow-white partridges (kurapatki), 
are piled up under the very cages from wliich the captive larks warble 
their liquid notes. 

It is astonishing what a quantity of these birds are yearly consumed at 
the luxurious tables of St, Petersburg. In winter the cold keeps the meat 



THE MARKETS. 



57 



fresh, and at the same time faciUtates its conveyance to market. The 
partridges come mostly from Saratoff, the swans from Finland ; Livonia 
and Esthonia supply heath-cocks and grouse, and the wide steppes must 
furnish the trapp geese which flutter over their endless plains, where the 
Cossack hunts them on horseback, and kills them with his formidable 
whip. All these birds, as soon as the life-blood has flown, are converted 
into stone by the frost, and, packed up in huge chests, are sent for sale 
to the capital. Whole sledge-loads of snow-white hares find their way to 
the market. The little animals are usually frozen in a running position, 
with their ears pointed, and their legs stretched out before and behind, 
and, when placed on the ground, look, at the first glance, as if they were 
in the act of escaping from the hunter. Bear's flesh also is sometimes 
offered for sale in this market, aud here and there may be seen a frozen 
reindeer lying in the snow by the side of a booth, its hairy snout stretched 
forth upon the ground, its knees doubled up imder its body, and its antlers 
rising majestically into the air. It looks as if, on our approaching it, it 
would spring up, and dash away once more in search of its native forests. 
The mighty elk, likewise, is no raie guest in this market, where it pa- 
tiently presents its antlers as a perch for the pigeons that are fluttering 
about, till, little by little, the axe and the saw have left no fragment of the 
stately animal, but every part of it has gone its way into the kitchens of 

the wealthy. 

Similar markets for birds and game will be found in every large Russian 
city. Indeed the habits and fashions of the Russian markets are com- 
pletely national. Those of Moscow vary but little from those of Tobolsk ; 
and Irkhutsk, Odessa, and Archangel have shown themselves equally ser- 
vile in their imitation of the metropolitan bazaars. 



CHAPTER VIII. 



THE BLACK PEOPLE. 



From the Gostinnoi Dvor, as has already been said, the booths and stalls 
of the merchants are planted along the sides of the Sadovaia, or Garden- 
street, to a considerable distance. After passing a row of toy-shops we 
come to the booksellers, — that is to say, to the venders of Russia,n litera- 
ture ; for the German and French booksellers, as dealers in foreign mer- 
chandise, have their locaUty in the Prospekt. 

Next come the dealers in cloth, a seemingly interminable succession of 
booths, hung with all kinds of cloth?, and draperies, that the half darkness 
within may be less likely to betray the worthlessness of the merchant's 

wares. 

Passing these, we arrive at some haidware and clock shops, though the 
latter have formed their chief lodgment in the gostmnoi dvor, where the 
clocks are marshalled on shelves, in due order and in long lines, from the 
treble of the shrill-toned dwarf to the capacious bulk and voluminous voice 



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THE BLACK PEOPLE. 



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of the double bass. " In long lines," I repeat it, for every thing with the 
Russians is long. Long are the lines of houses in their streets, long are 
the lines of their soldiers, long — oh, how long ! — are their re^ments of 
verst-posts (anglice, mile-stones) ; their buildings are long and drawn out ; 
and long, very long, are their caravans of waggons on the road. Breadth, 
depth, and elevation, indeed, are wanting. Therefore it is that every thing 
among them is without substance or durability ; nothing is cJose, compact, 
solid or exalted ; every thing is long, flat, smooth ; the whole country is 
stiff and sharp -cornered, and has the air of having passed through the 
hands of the drill-sergeant. 

Last of all come the venders of wax candles, which are exhibited for sale 
in all forms and sizes. Some are thick enough to be placed as pillars in 
the facade of a temple, while others are almost as thin as spun silk. These 
are the merchants whose trade is, apparently, among the best in St. Peters- 
burg. Their dealings augment in proportion as the Greek-Russian Church 
extends her dimensions. The nations that in later times have been bap- 
tized in the Russian name, all require a constant supply of wax, of which 
their new faith teaches them to bum away vast quantities for the good of 
their souls. The recent transition of the Lithuanian Church to the na- 
tional faith ; the numberless proselytes whom the Russians are constantly 
gaining over ; the churches built and building in all the new colonies, in 
Siberia, in the steppes, and in the capital itself ; all these lead to a con- 
stant demand for wax candles of the genuine ecclesiastical mould. The 
wax, mostly purified with great care, arrives at Moscow in cakes of two 
poods in weight. There it is bleached, for in St. Petersburg there are no 
wax bleachers, the Finnish sun being itself too well bleached to have much 
effect in bleaching anything else. The wax taper? themselves are often 
covered with omamente. Some are gilt, others are spun round ^vith gold 
and silver thread, and others agaui have small pieces of coloured glass let 
into them, to cheat the eye with the semblance of precious stones. 

Having passed the wax lights, we arrive at the spacious hay market 
(Sennaia Ploshtshod), with its stately church. This place is remarkable 
as the only spot in which a barricade was ever erected in St. Petersburg, 
in consequence of a popular insurrection. This was in 1832, when the 
cholera raged here, and when the mobility of the capital, who make the 
hay market their daily foimge, were seized with the notion that prevailed 
in so many other great cities of Europe, that not God but the doctors had 
brought the pestilence among them. The physicians were supposed to be 
poisoning the people ; and these, excited by tnelr o\^ti absurd suspicions, 
broke out one morning into open insurrection. The frantic mob of gray- 
beards ran wildly about the neighbouring streets, seized upon the cholera 
carts, made the patients get out, set the horses loose, and, after breaking 
the vehicles, threw the fragments into the Fontanka, and then fortified the 
market-place by erecting barricades of hay- waggons at the several en- 
trances. The uisurgents passed the night behind their intrenchments, 
resolved, on the following morning, to deal with the doctors as they had 
dealt with the carts. Early in the morning, accordingly, the great cholera 
hospital was attacked and taken by storm. The physicians, mostly Ger- 
mans, were thrown from the windows and torn to pieces by the mob, and 
the patients were conveyed to their homes, that they might be freed from 
the clutches of their supposed tormenters. Shortly afterwards the emperor 
arrived from Zarskoye Selo, and immediately repau-ed to the market in an. 



'^^ „Tiftltended by any military escort. The barricades ^ap- 

open carnage, nnatt^naeaoy y j entrance of the 

rt thrCSed S c3 himself, a^d then addressed to the 
church, where ^^^P^^J^^^^ ^^ ^^ chronicled at the time in most of 

xnultitude a few J^^~^^^^^^ ^ people kneel down and pray to 
S:d^Rve^hlftffiins; and an thatUy so tumultuous m^hude 
Wtdow^^^^ the command of their sovereign, ^^^ imresistingly aUW 
Se p^^^^^^ come among them, and qmetly convey the rmgleaders of the 

" wXTpausing to comment on a scene so mustrative of the influence 
MtCslZeiln exercises over the mmds of the Russian people, let us 
I/prfhP market itself, and examine the unwashed throng, by which it is 
fined tS suTa l^ee hat the police have some trouble to keep a pass^ 
E in Z centrTfor the equipages constantly coming and gomg. On 
one side 5 tMs passage stand the'seners of hay, wood, ^^d, m spnng of 
Xn and shrubs. On the other side are the peasants with their stores of 
E fi't buUer and vegetables. Between these two rows are the sledge^ 
Td equipaL whose ow4rs come to make the daily purchases, and depart 
Sen w Kerbs and vegetables, the bleeding necks of the poultry oft^ 
~ting a singular contrast to the briniant carnages from whose wmdo^ 
thev are HsLssir^^^ Along the fronts of the houses, meanwhde, 

SeWd ^^^^ ^^P^*^' together with the beer and tea 

Sat which the peasants never faU to expend a portion of then: gam. 

The stibles of St. Petersburg contain seldom less .t^^an from 30^^ 
to 40 000 horses, without including those of the garnson. The ammal 
wantsTsome 50,000 or 60,000 horses have therefore dady to be provided 
^ra larger number, probably, in proportion to its extent, than in any 
other European metropoUs. The consumption of hay, accordmgly, is 
eno~. ^n summer whole fleets, laden with mountains of hay come 
floXff down the Neva ; and in winter, caravans of hay sledges defile 
"1 the streets, and are drawn up in squadrons and regimente along 
the s" des of the Sennaia Ploshtshod. Some of the hay is sold wholesale 
ly the load, but the greater part is spread out on the ground and made 
up into sman parcels to suit the convenience of the isvoshtshiks. Poor 
w^omen and children may constantly be seen hovenng about, to pick up 
Sw blades that lie scattered about, and as soon as they have coned^ 
their nttle harvest they run off to a neighbounng street, where they dis- 
pose of their gleanings to some loiteringisvoshtshik, from whom m return 
they obtain the means of providing a mouthful for themselves. 

the sledges, after bringing the various commodities to market, scire 
their owners as stalls and counters. The mattmg thrown aside allows the 
poultry and meat to be arranged in a picturesque manner to catch the eye 
of the passing stranger. The geese are cut up, and the heads, necks, legs 
^nd car^cases fold separately, by the dozen or the half-dozen, s rung re^y 
for sale upon little cords. He whose finances win not a^low ^rni to thmk 
of luxuriating on the breast of a goose, may buy himself a little rosary of 
frozen heads; while one stiU poorer must content himself with a neck-la^e, 
or a few dozen of webbed feet, to boU down into a Sunday soup for his 
little ones. The most singular spectacle is farmshed by the frozen oxen, 
calves, and goats, which stand about in ghastly rows, and look hke bleedmg 
spectres come to haunt the carniverous tyrants whose appetites have con- 
demned the poor victims to a premature death. The petrified masses can 



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THE BLACK PEOPLE. 



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be cut up only with hatchets and saws. Sucking pigs are a favourite 
delicacy with the Russians. Hundreds of the little creatures, in their 
frozen condition, may be seen ranged about the sledges, with their tall 
motionless mothers by the side of them. 

The anatomical dissections of a Russian butcher are extremely simple. 
Bones and meat having been all rendered equally hard by the frost, it 
would be difficidt to attempt to separate the several joints. The animals 
are, accordingly, sawn up into a number of slices of an inch or two in 
thickness, and in the course of this operation a quantity of animal sawdust 
is scattered on the snow, wlience it is eagerly gathered up by poor children, 
of whom great numbers haunt the market. Fish, which is offered for sale 
in the same hard condition, is cut up in a similar way. The Uttle dimi- 
nutive snitki are brought to market in sacks, and rattle like so many hazel 
nuts when thrown into the scale. The pikes, the salmon, and the stur- 
geon, so pliant and supple when aUve, are now as hard as though they had 
been cut out of marble, and so they must be kept, for a sudden thaw 
woidd spoil them, and to guard against this, they are constantly encased 
in ice or snow. Sometimes the whole mass freezes together, and the 
hatchet must then be liberally applied before the piscatory petrifactions 
can be liberated from their icy incrustations. 

So long as the frost keeps all Hquid matter in captivity, and so long as 
the snow, constantly renewed, throws a charitable covering over all the 
hidden sins of the place, so long the ploshtshod looks clean enough, but 
this very snow and frost prepare for the coming spring a spectacle which I 
would counsel no one to look upon, who wishes to keep his appetite in due 
order for the sumptuous banquets of St. Petersburg. Every kind of filth 
and garbage accumulates during the winter ; and when at last the melting 
influence of spring dissolves the charm, the quantities of sheep's eyes, fish 
tails, crab shells, goat's hairs, fragments of meat, pools of blood, not to 
speak of hay, dung, and other matters, are positively frightful. One 
would almost imagine that another Hercules w^ould be required to cleanse 
the Augean stable ; nevertheless, the piu-veyors to the several kitchens are 
not deterred by the disgusting sight, but come to wander through the • 
crowd, and lay in a supply for their daily wants, while the peasants eat 
their cakes and drink their quass, unmindful of the iniquities around them. 
Those only who have some acquaintance with the atrocious shambles of 
Vienna, can have any conception of the frozen, thawed, and refrozen 
specimens of meat which are constantly imposed upon the public in the 
Sennaia Ploshtshod. 

Another of the markets in which the manners of the " lower orders " of 
St. Petersburg may be conveniently studied, is the Zimnaia Ploshtshod, at 
the end of the Nevskoi Prospekt, where the living cattle are disposed of, 
and where a quantity of sledges and country waggons are constantly offered 
for sale to the peasants. Thousands of specimens of the Russian telega 
may here be examined at leisure. It is a singular vehicle, and no descrip- 
tion would convey any idea of its form and construction, without the ac- 
companiment of some pictorial illustration. Its appearance is certainly 
graceful, and it may even be described as elegant, when compared to the 
peasant carts of many other parts of Europe. The Russian peasant's sledge 
is likewise a composition admirable for its hghtness and its adaptation to 
the country. 

The horses sold in this market are duly imbued with the national 



character. Like their masters they are small, but active and supple ; with 
long manes and beards, ragged hair, delicate joints, and iron constitutions. 
In the stable they are dull and heavy, but in harness full of spirit, un- 
wearied in the race, and even after the hardest labour tricksy and playful. 
Cold, heat, hunger, and thirst, they endure with a patience truly admi- 
rable, and often receive their dirty straw with more apparent relish than 
their German brethren do the golden corn. Yet after all, there is but 
httle energy in the Russian horse. He knows not how to husband his 
force, and if unable to clear the hill at a gallop he remains hopelessly fixed 
in the mud. The Russian cannot be said to illtreat his horse. He rarely 
flies into a rage against his animal, and expends at all times far more 
words than blows upon it ; on the other hand, however, he bestows but 
little care upon it, and spoils it as Httle with over cherishing as he is him- 
self spoiled with kindness by those in whose school he has been trained and 
broken in. The weekly consumption of horses at St. Petersburg is calcu- 
lated at about 200 ; some idea may therefore be formed of the throng and 
bustle that distinguish the monthly and half-yearly horse-fairs at the Zim- 
naia Ploshtshod. 

At the nones of December, however, the dead animals that arrive cause 
infinitely more bustle there than the " stamping steeds" of whom I liave 
just spoken. On the 6th of December, namely, neither sooner nor later, 
but on the feast of St. Nicholas, it is generally assumed that the snow 
track must be in a firm and proper condition for the winter. Among the 
Russians indeed almost all actions, but particularly those which relate to 
their household arrangements, are regulated, not according to nature, but 
according to certain festivals of the church, which are assumed to be the 
most suitable periods for certain arrangements to be made. Thus, for 
instance, the cattle is not driven out into the fields when the grass is green, 
but on the I7th of April, St. Stephen's day, and then the ceremony is 
accompanied by the benedictions of the priest, and copious besprinklings 
with holy water. The farmer does not begin to plough when the weather 
is favom-able, but on St. George's day. Apples are not plucked when 
they ai-e ripe, but on the feast of Mary, in August ; and an apple eaten 
before the legitimate day would be thought Httle better than poison ; 
wliile after that day, even an unripe apple would be given unhesitatingly to 
an infant. On the Tuesday after Easter, in the south of Russia, aU the 
Tshumaks* saUy forth, beca\ise the roads then are considered to 'be good, 
and on the 1st of October {Pakrovi) aU endeavour to be home again, as 
after that festival the country is no longer deemed passable. 

On the 6th of December, accordingly, the snow track is thought to be 
in a fit condition for traveUing. The autumn, with its rains, its storms, 
and its alternations of frost and thaw, is supposed to be at an end, and all 
the large caravans of sledges are put into motion on this important day. 
In the second week of December, therefore, St. Petersburg, after having 
perhaps been but scantily suppHed during the latter part of the autumn, 
is all at once inundated with inconceivable masses of winter stores of every 
kind. A scene something like that which has been described as customary 
at the ha)Tnarket, takes place, but on an infinitely larger scale. The 
frozen oxen that stand about in all directions are now to be nimabered. 



* Drivers of the oxen caravans. 



11 



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THE BLACK PEOPLE. 



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The pigs are piled up in pyramids on the snow, and the heaps of goats 
and sheep rise to the altitude of mountains. The winter provision market 
at this time is a sight which no stranger ought to miss seeing. 

We have thus passed in review the three principal markets where the 
Russian populace may be said chiefly to resort ; let us now draw a little 
nearer, and examine more attentively, the life and manners of the class 
that people them, and, after all, constitute the bulk of the nation. 

Tiie aristocracy of every country have invented some contemptuous 
term, by which to designate the mass of their country people, whose 
rudeness and peculiarities it is always more easy to condemn, than it is to 
discover and duly estimate the qualities that are really valuable. The 
Enghsh expression John Bull, and the French word canaille, are ex- 
amples of what I mean. Now the Russians, from the earhest times, for 
the word existed even in the days of the repubHc of Novgorod, have 
called their canaille tshornoi narod, which means Uterally, black people ; 
but as tshornoi is often used synonymously with dirty, the expression may be 
taken to mean " dirty people ;" in short, " the unwashed," and to this com- 
prehensive class are considered to belong, the peasantry, particularly when 
they make their appearance in the towns, the street rabble, beggars, and 
the common labourers. — An individual belonging to the tshornoi narod is 
called a mushik. 

The tshornoi narod varies in so many respects from the mob of other 
countries, and have so many good and bad qualities of their own, that they 
have funiished matter for comment and wonder to all travellers who have 
visited Russia dimng the last three centuries ; and these peculiarities are 
the more deserving of attention inasmuch as they are often national 
rather than confined to a class. There are people who believe that the 
lower classes in Russia are a separate and oppressed caste, without a will 
of their own, and without influence over their superiors ; and that the 
civilized class floats over the mass like oil over water, neither mingling nor 
sympathizing with the other. Now this is the very reverse of the truth. 
There is perhaps no coimtry in the world where all classes are so inti- 
naately connected with each other as in this vast empire, or so little di- 
vided into castes; and the same pecuUarities which we notice in the bearded 
mushik, manifest themselves with only trifling modifications among the 
loftiest pinnacles of that Babylonian building, the social edifice of Russia. 
On the haymarket of St. Petersburg we may examine the raw material 
out of which all Russian classes have been manufactured for centimes : and 
a passing glance is enough to convince us that these bearded rusty fellows 
are of the same race as the polished and shaven elegants whom we meet 
with in the saloons. To some extent, there exists in every country, a 
certain afl5nity and family likeness between the highest and the lowest 
classes j but nowhere is this more the case than in Russia, because, con- 
trary to the prevailing belief, in no country are the extremes of society 
brought into more frequent contact, and in few are the transitions from one 
class to another more frequent or more sudden. The peasant becomes a 
priest on the same day perhaps that an imperial mandate degrades the 
the noble to a peasant, or to a Siberian colonist. Degradation to the 
ranks is a pimishment frequently inflicted on Russian officers. Hereditary 
rank is disregarded, wliile public services often lead rapidly to the highest 
dignities. Even the glebce adscripti are often more nomadic in their 
habits, and less rooted to their soil, than our free peasant in Gormnnv: nnrl 



the spirit of speculation that pervades the whole nation, is constantly 
making rich men poor, and poor men rich. 

It requires but little poUshing to convert the raw material of the 
mushik into a shrewd trader ; and expend but a little more pains upon his 
training, and he will chatter away in English, French, and German. He 
takes the polish easily, learns without much trouble to dance and dangle, 
and when you look at him closely, you find him a very Proteus, who glides 
at will into almost every form that he chooses to assume. On the liay- 
market we behold the same mob that in the middle ages at the sound of 
the Vetsha bell, poured into the forum of the mighty republic of No\- 
gorod, the same mob that placed Boris Godunoff on the throne, tore from 
it the false Demetrius, and exalted the house of Romanoff^, which rose to 
its present astonishing power, through the mighty fermentation and de- 
velopment of the tshornoi narod. 

The common man of St. Petersburg has precisely the same charac- 
teristics as the common man of Moscow or Odessa, or as the labourer on 
the confines of Chhia. All cling with the same fidelity to the customs of 
their ancestors, and all remain the same in manners, education, and tastes. 
Their food is the same throughout the whole of the vast empire, and 
centuries will probably pass away before any sensible change wiU occur. 
This circumstance gives to the Russian people a unity of character, which 
we should vainly look for in other countries where the manners and habits 
of one province oft:en present a striking contrast to those of another. 

At the first glance there is certainly something extremely repulsive in 
the Russian mushik. His hair is long and shaggy, and so is his beard : 
his person is dirty ; he is always noisy ; and when wrapped up in his sheep- 
skin, he certainly presents a figure more suitable for a bandit or murderer 
than for a man devoted to peaceable occupations. This apparent rude- 
ness, however, is less a part of the man himself, than of his hair and 
beard, of his shaggy sheepskin, and the loud deep tone of his voice, 
The stranger who is able to address him with kindness in his native 
language, soon discovers in the mushik, a good-humoured, friendly, harm- 
less and serviceable creature. — " Sdrastvuitye brat ! Good day, brother ; 
how goes it ?*' — " Sdrastvuitye batiushka ! Good day, father ; thank 
God, it goes well with me. What is your pleasure ? How can I serve 
you ?" And at these words his face unbends into a simpering smile, the 
hat is taken off^, the glove drawn from the hand, bow follows bow, and he 
will catch your hand with native politeness and good-humoured cordiaHty. 
"With admirable patience he wiU then afford the required information in its 
minutest details ; and this the more willingly as he feels flattered by the in- 
terrogation, and is pleased by the opportunity to assume the office of 
instructor. A few words are often enough to draw from him a torrent of 
eloquence. 

Englishmen are too apt to attribute the courtesy of the Russian to a 
slavish disposition, but the courteous manner in which two Russian pea- 
sants are sure to salute each other when they meet, cannot be the result 
of fear engendered by social tyranny. On the contrary, a spirit of ge- 
nuine politeness pervades all classes, the highest as well as the lowest. 
Foreigners generally describe the Russians as rogues, with whom it is 
impossible to conclude a bargain without being cheated, and no one can 
deny that the frauds daily practised in the market places are innumerable. 
Nevertheless, examples ai*e also numerous among them of the most romantic 



I 



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acts of integrity. An instance of the kind came to my own knowledge. An 
English lady holding an appointment in the Winter Palace, gave 500 
rubles to a poor isdavoi* to deliver to her daughter at Zarskoye Selo. On 
the following day he returned, kissed the lady's hand, and said : " Pardon 
me, I am guilty. I cannot tell how it has happened, but I have lost 
your money, and cannot find it again. Deal with me as you please." 
The lady, unwilling to ruin the man, made no mention of his offence, and 
after a time lost sight of him entirely. At the end of six years he came 
to her one day with a cheerfid countenance, and returned the 500 rubles 
of which his carelessness had deprived her. On inquiry it turned out 
that during those six years he had denied himself every little enjoyment, 
and had saved up his wages till he had collected about 300 rubles. Hav- 
ing recently been promoted to a better situation he had been in a con- 
dition to marry. His wife had brought him a dower of 100 rubles, and 
was besides possessed of some articles of trifling value, all of which had 
been sold in order to tranquillize the husband's conscience, who now came 
to reheve himself of a debt that had so long weighed upon his mind. 
No entreaty could induce him to take the money back, winch was, how- 
ever, placed in a public bank, to accumulate at compound interest for the 
benefit of his children. 

Such instances of honesty are by no means rare amongst the Russians ; 
whether at the last day they will balance their admitted rogueries, God 
alone can decide. The Russian way of cheating is quite peculiar to the 
people ; they do it with so much adroitness, one may almost say with so 
much grace, that it is difficult to be angry with them. If a German 
cheats me, I cannot restrain my anger ; he does it with the worst con- 
science in the world ; he knows what he is about, has the most perfect 
consciousness of the shameless exorbitance of his demands, and basely 
abuses the confidence placed in him. The Russian on the contrary knows 
that every one takes him for a rogue, and in the vivacity of his fancy may 
really imagine that his wares are what he so loudly proclaims them 
samolut shize (the very best). Neither can he conceive why any one 
should object to pay four times any more than twice the value of a thhig, 
and is therefore as unconcerned as a conjurer over his tricks. He laughs, 
jests, ogles his outwitted customer, and bona-Jide thanks God and all his 
saints that his work has prospered so well. One may see when a Ger- 
man cheats, that he knows the devil is at his elbow ; when a Russian 
does the same, he holds himself especially favoured by his good angel. 

The case is much the same with their temperance as with their 
honesty. The nation is inclined to cheating from top to bottom, and yet 
people most pedantically honest may be found amongst them, and a hun- 
dred instances might be cited in which a Russian rogue would be more 
punctiliously honom*able than a German Hermlmter ; the whole nation 
IS most undeniably voluptuous and addicted to intemperance, and yet 
affords examples, not only of exemplary sobriety, but there are times when 
the most intolerable bibber amongst them will practise the severest absti- 
nence. It is said that the Russians surpass all other nations in the con- 



* The isdavois are common mushiks, who act as couriers in the imperial palaces. 
They may be seen galloping about on their meagre steeds in all directions in and 
about St. Petersburg, charged with messages of various kinds. At first they re- 
ceive a few rubles monthly, as salary, but in time rise to more lucrative situation 
io the imperial household. 



sumption of brandy, and yet strange to say it does not seem to do them 
much injury. The fearftd lessons given by Hogarth in his celebrated pic- 
ture " Gin Lane," are little applicable in this country ; these people who 
as infants have had drams administered by their depraved mothers, reach 
the age of eighty and a hundred years, and are withal as fresh and healthy 
as if they had swallowed so much new milk ; they may say of brandy, 
what Voltaire, in his eightieth year, said of coffee, — that it must be very slow 
poison. When they get any money, they are seen to swallow this unholy 
fire-water in incredible quantities, not sipping it out of thimble-sized glasses, 
as we do, but out of tumblers, or, yet more unceremoniously, out of the 
great pewter measures in which it is handed to them. Women, girls, 
boys, and even sucklings (Hterally I mean) take a share, which in other 
countries would have the worst consequences. Nevertheless, there are 
individuals to be found who have never put their hps to brandy, and others 
who will sometimes make a vow against drinking, and keep it, for 
years together. As extremes meet, and are said to call forth each 
other, there are also individuals, who after exhibiting examples of sobriety 
in their persons, seem all at once attacked by a perfect frenzy of dnmk- 
enness ; and for months together will be found in a situation that 
assimilates them to the beast. In Lesser Rtffesia, where the brandy idol 
has his chief seat, and where on hoHdays whole villages of drunken people 
may be found, this strange madness has most form and substance, it would 
be well worth while for all who have any cognizance of the facts there- 
with connected, to put the result of their observations together. The 
Russians look on this mania for drunkenness as a disease, and call it 
Sapoi, 

The great sums which the government draws from the monopoly of 
brandy, the enormous wealth of the Otkuptshiks (the brandy farmers) who 
invariably grow rich by their thrice shameful trade, the ruined circum- 
stances of hundreds and thousands, are the sad testimonials of the degree 
in which this poisonous flame-emitting idol rules this land, to whose altai-s 
all throng to offer up in sacrifice their own welfare, and the welfare of 
their families, and for whose insnaring gifts all pine and lust w4th a 
greediness of desire, that awakens at once the deepest disgust and the 
strongest compassion. The poor tormented soldier Imows no other means 
of forgetting his condition for a moment but brandy ; the most fervent 
prayer of the beggar is for brandy ; the servants and peasants thank you 
for brandy as for God's best gift. 

In the countless booths and drinking-houses in St. Petersburg in the 
year 1827, brandy and other Hquors were sold to the amoimt of eight 
millions of rubles ; in 1833 to eight miQions and a half. That gives for 
everj' inhabitant, women and children included, twenty rubles yearly for 
brandy, or about two and a quarter pailfuls. If we exclude the children, 
foreigners, persons of rank, and the sick, we may form an idea, what 
immoderate topers there must remain amongst the adults of the 
Tschomoi narod ! The government is endeavouring to bring beer more 
into use, and thereby diminish the consumption of brandy. It is therefore 
consolatory to hear that beer is now better made and much more drunk in 
St. Petersburg than formerly. In 1827 the amount consumed in beer 
and mead was forty-two thousand rubles ; in 1 832 seven hundred and 
sixty thousand rubles. In the last four years the consumption of brandy 
in St. Petersburg increased in the following ratio : — 100, 105, 110, 115, 



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THE BLACK PEOPLE. 



67 



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aomewhat less than the increase of the population ; the consumption of 
beer as 1, 3, 6, 11. The finer kinds of brandy and liquors show the 
greatest increase ; a proof that the taste is more refined, and that the ama- 
teurs must be on the increase among the upper classes. 

Melancholy as the fact is of this enormous abuse of spmtuous liquors m 
Russia, yet, as before observed, it is certain that the evil consequences are 
not so fflaringly offensive as they would be among any other people. It 
is perhaps a general law of Nature that all abuses, where they are gene- 
raUy prevalent, shall not be injurious in a Uke proportion with then: 
strength, because all poisons carry a certain antidote with them, and human 
nature in its most desperate condition is yet to be saved from ^^^^ ^«- 
struction. Thus despotism depraves men less in Russia than it would do 
in a free country, because a multitude of devices have been formed tor 
avoiding the evU. Serfdom in Russia is not half so oppressive as it woiUd 
be to men who passed from a state of freedom to one of slavery ; tor the 
people develop a great elasticity of spirit, freedom from care, and cheerhil- 
nes0 in the midst of their humiliation, and have found out a multitude ot 
alleviations which a people unaccustomed to slavery would not tum^ ^' 
count. Any other nation in the bonds of Russian despotism and serfdom, 
among whom such roguery and cheating were in practice, who were fet- 
tered in such a darkness of ignorance and superstition, and so plunged m 
sensual excess, would be the most detestable and unbearable people on the 
facfe of- the earth. The Russians, on the contrary, with aU their faults and 
sufferings, are very tolerably agreeable, gay, and contented. Their roguery 
scat^ely shows amiss in them, their slavery they bear with as much ease as 
Atlas bore the weight of the globe, and out of their brandy-casks they 
swallow the deepest potations even with a grace. A disease m an 
otherwise healthy body manifests itself by the most decisive symptoms, 
while in a thoroughly corrupted system the evil will glide through all parts 
of the body without coming to an explosion, because one evd struggles 
with and counteracts the other ; so in Russia those manifold evils m^ not 
seen in the full Ught of day as in other lands. The whole is veiled by a 
murky atmosphere, through which the right and the wrong camiot be 
clearly discerned. Every thing is compromised, smoothed over ; no sick- 
ness is brought into a strong hght, or compelled to a palpable revelation. 
With us the boys in the street shout after a drunken man, and pelt^^?^ 
with dirt and hard names, which raises a disturbance immediately. This 
is never the case in Russia, and a stranger might, fix)m the absence ot 
drunken squabbles and noise, be led to conclude that they were a sober 
people, till he observed that the absence of all attention to the fax;t is the 
cause of his mistake. To his no small astonishment he will see two, three, 
or four people, apparently in full possession of their reason, walking toge- 
ther ; suddenly the whole party will reel and stagger, and one or the other 
measure his length in the mire, where he lies unnoticed, unless by his 
brother or a police-officer. - . • x-. • *• 

Our German drunkards are coarse, noisy, and obtrusive ; intoxication 
makes an ItaUan or a Spaniard gloomy and revengeful, and an Enghsh- 
man brutal ;,but the Russians, the more the pity, in the highest degree 
humorous and cheerful: the more the pity, I say, because if the conse- 
qnences of the evil showed themselves more offensively, the evil itself would 
be more energetically combated. In the first stage of drunkenness the 
Russians be^ to gossip and teU stories, sing and fall mto each others 



arms • at a more advanced stage even enemies embrace, abjuring all hosti- 
lity amidst a thousand protestations of eternal friendship ; then all strangers 
present are most cordially greeted, kissed and caressed, let them be of what 
age or rank they may. It is all " Uttle father," " little mother," " Uttle 
brother," " little grandmother," and if their friendliness be not returned 
with a like warmth, then it is " Ah, little father, you are not angry that 
we are tipsy ? Ah, it*s very true, we*re all tipsy together ! Ah, it is abo- 
minable I Pray forgive us — punish us — beat us." Then ensue new ca- 
resses ; they embrace your knees, kiss your feet, and entreat you to forgive 
their obtrusiveness. Other nations, whose whole moral strength lies in 
their cultivated reason, show themselves dangerous when the abuse of spi- 
rituous Hquors frees their passions from tins restraint. But the Russian, 
whose reason is little cultivated, and who, when he is good is so from innate 
kindliness of feeling, cannot be so degraded by drink. He shows himself 
what he is — a child much in want of guidance. It is curious enough, how- 
ever, that even in drunkenness a Russian's native cunning never forsakes 
him ; it is very difficult to move him, be he ever so drunk, to any baseness 
not to his advantage. The deeper a Russian drinks the more does the 
whole world appear to him couleur de rose^ till at last his raptures break 
forth in a stream of song ; and, stretched upon his sledge, tal kin g to him- 
self and all good spirits, he returns at length to his own home, whither his 
wiser horse has found his way imguided. 

The inferiority of the Russians to the West Europeans is freely admitted 
by them. If their productions are found fault mth, they will often say in 
excuse, " Ah, sir, it*s only Russian work. I made it myself ; how should 
it be better ? The Germans, we know, imderstand every thing better." 
" Prostaya rabota" (common work) is not only an expression in use among 
foreigners for Russian work, but one heard frequently from the natives 
themselves. I once asked a dealer in *toys and baskets where he got his 
wares. " The toys," said he, " are German work, the baskets common" («. e. 
Russian). The Russian word for common (prostoi) is regularly adopted by 
the German-Russians in this sense. In speaking apologetically to a friend 
they wiQ say, " You will find nothing very elegit in my household ar- 
rangements ; it is all very prostoV^ " We are great rogues," the Russians 
will often add ; " each tries to outwit the other as much as he can ; and I 
must tell you frankly to be on your guard with me." They make the 
frankest revelations with respect to themselves, so that one feels inclined to 
hold them free from faidt, even while they are confessing that they share the 
failings of their country. " Ah, we Russians are indolent — we cheat 
wherever we can — our priests permit the most outrageous roguery to go 
unreprovcd — our people in authority are the most corrupt in the world ; 
we are only active when there is money to be gained ; nobler objects, 
knowledge and science, have no attractions for us, though we may be forced 
to attain them. We do nothing well or thoroughly, and are sunk in im- 
equalled sensuality." 

This very openness it is that so often misleads a stranger ; he knows not 
what to think of them. " What is the price of those plums ?" Two 
rubles, sir ; they are excellent, real French." " Ah, you Russian rogue 
— they French !" " Yes, yes, I say real French. Of course, as I am a 
Russian, it must be a he. Oh, the Russians are rogues, sir, that all the 
world knows. The French and Germans never cheat — they are all honest 
people, and have only good things ! Well, I advise you not to buy my 

f2 



ii. 



66 



THE BLACK PEOPLE. 



THE BLACK PEOPLE. 



67 






'II 



somewhat less than the increase of the population ; the consumption of 
beer as 1, 3, 6, 11. The finer kinds of brandy and liquors show the 
greatest increase ; a proof that the taste is more refined, and that the ama- 
teurs must be on the increase among the upper classes. 

Melancholy as the fact is of this enormous abuse of spmtuous hquors m 
Russia, yet, as before observed, it is certain that the evil consequences are 
not so glaringly offensive as they would be among any other people. It 
is perhaps a general law of Nature that aU abuses, where they are gene- 
rafly prevalent, shall not be injurious in a Uke proportion with their 
strength, because all poisons carry a certain antidote with them, and hunian 
nature in its most desperate condition is yet to be saved from ^^t^r <ie- 
struction. Thus despotism depraves men less in Russia than it would do 
in a free country, because a multitude of devices have been formed tor 
avoiding the evU. Serfdom in Russia is not half so oppressive as it woidd 
be to men who passed from a state of freedom to one of slavery ; «>r th« 
people develop a great elasticity of spirit, freedom from care, and cheertul- 
nes$ in the midst of their humiUation, and have found out a multitude ot 
alleviations which a people unaccustomed to slavery would not turn to ac- 
count. Any other nation in the bonds of Russian despotism and serfdom, 
among whom such roguery and cheating were in practice, who were fet- 
tered in such a darkness of ignorance and superstition, and so plunged m 
sensual excess, would be the most detestable and unbearable people on the 
fece of' the earth. The Russians, on the contrary, vrith aU their faults and 
sufferinffs, are very tolerably agreeable, gay, and contented. Then- roguery 
scatcely shows amiss in them, their slavery they bear with as much ease as 
Atlas bore the weight of the globe, and out of their brandy-casks^ they 
swallow the deepest potations even with a grace. A disease m an 
otherwise healthy body manifests itself by the most decisive symptoms, 
while in a thoroughly corrupted system the e\'il will glide through all parts 
of the body without coming to an explosion, because one evil struggles 
with and counteracts the other ; so in Russia those manifold evils m« not 
seen in the frdl Hght of day as in other lands. The whole is veiled by a 
murky atmosphere, through which the right and the wrong cannot be 
clearly discerned. Every thing is compromised, smoothed over ; no sick- 
ness is brought into a strong Hght, or compelled to a palpable reve ation. 
With us the boys in the street shout after a drunken man, and pelt him 
with dirt and hard names, which raises a disturbance immediately. Ihis 
is never the case in Russia, and a stranger might, from the absence ot 
drunken squabbles and noise, be led to conclude that they were a sober 
people, tiU he observed that the absence of all attention to the fact is the 
cause of his mistake. To his no smaU astonishment he will see two, three, 
or four people, apparently in full possession of their reason, walking toge- 
ther ; suddenly the whole party will reel and stagger, and one or the other 
measure his length in the mu^, where he lies unnoticed, unless by his 
brother or a police-officer. - , • i_ • i.* 

Our German drunkards are coarse, noisy, and obtrusive ; intoxication 
makes an ItaUan or a Spaniard gloomy and revengeful, and an Enghsh- 
man brutal ;. but the Russians, the more the pity, in the highest degree 
humorous and cheerful: the more the pity, I say, because if the conse- 
qnences of the evil showed themselves more offensively, the evil itself would 
be more energetically combated. In the first stage of drunkenness the 
Russians begin to gossip and teU stories, sing and fall mto each others 



arms ; at a more advanced stage even enemies embrace, abjuring all hosti- 
lity amidst a thousand protestations of eternal friendship ; then aU strangers 
present are most cordially greeted, kissed and caressed, let them be of what 
age or rank they may. It is all " Uttle father," " little mother," " little 
brother," " little grandmother," and if their friendliness be not returned 
with a like warmth, then it is " Ah, Httle father, you are not angry that 
we are tipsy ? Ah, it's very true, we're all tipsy together ! Ah, it is abo- 
minable ! Pray forgive us — punish us — beat us." Then ensue new ca- 
resses J they embrace your knees, kiss your feet, and entreat you to forgive 
their obtrusiveness. Other nations, whose whole moral strength lies in 
their cultivated reason, show themselves dangerous when the abuse of spi- 
rituous hquors frees their passions from this restraint. But the Russian, 
whose reason is Httle cultivated, and who, when he is good is so from innate 
kindliness of feeling, cannot be so degraded by drink. He shows himself 
what he is — a child much in want of guidance. It is curious enough, how- 
ever, that even in drunkenness a Russian's native cunning never forsakes 
him ; it is very difficult to move him, be he ever so drunk, to any baseness 
not to his advantage. The deeper a Russian drinks the more does the 
whole world appear to him couleur de rose, till at last his raptures break 
forth in a stream of song ; and, stretched upon his sledge, talking to him- 
self and all good spirits, he returns at length to his own home, whither his 
wiser horse has found his way unguided. 

The inferiority of the Russians to the West Europeans is freely admitted 
by them. If their productions are found fault mth, they will often say in 
excuse, " Ah, sir, it's only Russian work. I made it myself ; how should 
it be better ? The Germans, we know, understand every thing better." 
" Prostaya rabota" (common work) is not only an expression in use among 
foreigners for Russian work, but one heard frequently from the natives 
themselves. I once asked a dealer in *toys and baskets where he got his 
wares. " The toys," said he, " are German work, the baskets common" (e. e, 
Russian). The Russian word for common (prostoi) is regularly adopted by 
the German-Russians in this sense. In speaking apologetically to a friend 
they wlQ say, " You will find nothing very elegant in my household ar- 
rangements ; it is all very prostoV* " We are great rogues," the Russians 
will often add ; " each tries to outwit the other as much as he can ; and I 
must tell you frankly to be on your guard with me." They make the 
frankest revelations with respect to themselves, so that one feels inclined to 
hold them free from fault, even while they are confessing that they share the 
failings of their country. " Ah, we Russians are indolent—we cheat 
wherever we can — our priests permit the most outrageous roguery to go 
unreproved— our people in authority are the most corrupt in the world ; 
we are only active when there is money to be gained ; nobler objects, 
knowledge and science, have no attractions for us, though we may be forced 
to attain them. We do nothing well or thoroughly, and are sunk in un- 
equalled sensuality." 

This very openness it is that so often misleads a stranger ; he knows not 
what to tmnk of them. " What is the price of those plums ?" Two 
rubles, sir ; they are excellent, real French." " Ah, you Russian rogue 
— they French !" " Yes, yes, I say real French. Of course, as I am a 
Russian, it must be a He. Oh, the Russians are rogues, sir, that all the 
world knows. The French and Germans never cheat — they are all honest 
people, and have only good things ! Well, I advise you not to buy my 

f2 



e& 



THE BLACK rEOPLE. 



plums. I say they are French, but they are no such thing. See, we 
llusslans lie and cheat wherever we can ; we have no conscience at all, and, 
as the Poles say, * he must be a cunning fellow who outwits a Russian.' 
And the Poles are right, sir. Do buy something of me, sir, and I will 
wager what you like you don't go uncheated out of my shop. Ha, ha, ha, 
ha ! the Russian rogues ! He who is not cheated by a Russian must be a 
cunning fellow." 

Confessions of this kind are so often heard, that it is impossible to help 
wishing they were somewhat less willing to admit their weaknesses, and 
less ready to content themselves, as they generally do, with the expression 
" Shto sddlafj " (what's to be done ?) Nothing is easier than to make a 
Russian confess, and nothing is more common, than for him to repeat his 
offence after having confessed and been punished or pardoned for similar 
ones a dozen times. As they have immeasurably more cunning than 
understanding, are far more clever than rational, their own proverb " stim 
sa rasum sasholV (his wits have run away with his reason) is quite true ; a 
correct psychological glance into their own inward man has revealed to 
them how often exaggerated cunning and calculation has led them to most 
irrational practices. It is honourable to us Germans, that the Russians 
(that is the lower classes) have so much confidence in us ; would to heaven 
every German justified this confidence, and did not, as unhappily many of 
them in Russia do, profit by the credit of the national character, and sin 
at the expense of thirty millions of his forefathers and fellow-countrymen. 
A Russian of rank will intrust a German with his secrets, or his valuables, 
much more readily than his own countryman. The Isvoschtshik will not 
willingly let a Russian go without having paid, or without leaving a 
pledge, while he will readily give a German credit. 

The Russian of distinction makes as much difference between his own 
countrymen and the Germans, as the lower classes do. " Sluishi ! tui" 
(hark thee), says a Russian nobleman to a Russian tailor ; every body who 
is neither a nobleman nor foreigner is thou'd in Russia, even the wealthy 
merchant, '' padi sudi" (come here) measure me for a coat, velvet collar, 
bright buttons, long in the waist ; dost understand ? let it be ready the day 
after to-morrow, dost hear ? " Slushi" (I hear and obey) ; ** stupai" (be 
off then). " My dear Mr. Meyer," he will say to an Innostranez (foreigner), 
" excuse me that I have given you the trouble to come, pray be seated. I 
want a new coat, would you advise gi'een or blue ? Pray make it in the 
newest fashion, and if possible, I should like to have it in a fortnight. I 
know how much you have to do. If it cannot be helped I will wait three 
weeks. I am much obliged to you. And how go affairs with you, Gos- 
podin Meyer ? how do you get on with Prince R. If I can be of any 
service to you in that business let me know. If possible, you will let me 
have the coat before the three weeks, will you, not ? adieu !" 

A foreign workman is paid what he asks without hesitation, even if he 
ask sixty rubles for the mere cutting out of a coat. With the Russian 
mechanic it is, " What ! twenty rubles for such a trifle as that ! Twenty 
strokes with a cudgel from the police ! There's tcji for thee, and quite 
enough ! take it." " Slushu" (I obey), answers the poor overborne rogue, 
makes a bow, and goes away quite content. 

The Russians are sometimes called the French of the North ; as lame a 
comparison, if seriously meant, as that of modem Moscow with old Rome. 
The differences between the two nations are endless Something of Uke- 



THE BLACK PEOPLE. 



69 



ness there is, however, in the fact that in the demeanour of the lowest 
Russian there is a certain adroitness, a savoir faire and tournure, alto- 
gether wanting to the Germans. Look at the cut of the commonest national 
garment, and in spite of dirt and coarseness, there will be a sometlung 
comme il faut about it. Even under the bearskins, slender and rounded 
forms may be perceived. The awkward and ridiculous vestments occa- 
sionaUy seen among us, are unknot here : to judge by his clothing, a 
Russian must be one of the most elegant and rational of men. Observe a 
couple of Russians of the lowest class : if they have a heavy burden to trans- 
port, how cleverly and readily it is done, in spite of the most deplorable 
means of carriage. In St. Petersburg, the most ordinary peasants, picked 
up quite at random, will be charged with the transport of the costhest and 
most fragile articles ; for example, immense looking-glasses, F^p^J^' J^*' 
and will execute the commission with as much dexterity as if it had been 
their employment from childhood. I should like to see one quantity ot 
glass packed and carried by German peasants, and another by Russians, 
and strike the balance between the relative skill and address of the two 
nations, according to the quantity of merchandise demolished ! ^ 

The exceUent fables of Kruiloff; the lessons of prudence they contain, and 
the striking comparisons of which they are full, are draA\Ti directly from 
the Ufe of the people ; and we may find daily opportunities of witnessing 
scenes, and Ustening to speeches and advice, such as Kruiloff gives in his 
fables. As a fit conclusion to these considerations on the national cha- 
racter, we will give some of his pictures, which in many respects are very 

characteristic. 

The blind enthusiasm which often overiooks the most essential objects, is 
held up to ridicule in the writing of this Russian iEsop in a St. Petersburg 
Tshinnovnik,* who relates to his friend, that he has been to the Museum, 
and seen the most wonderful tilings ; " birds of the most wonderful colours, 
beautiful butterflies, all foreign! and gnats, flies, and golden beetles, so 
small, that they are scarcely to be seen with the naked eye." " But what 
say you to the- elephant, and the mammoth, that are there also, my friend ?" 
" Elephant, mammoth, ah, the deuce ! I really did not notice them." 

In another of the illustrations accompanying the fables, a rich landholder 
is presenting to his friend his much-lauded musicians : "I have the best 
band in the world," he exclaims, " all excellent fellows— not one of them 
has robbed me, and there is not a drmikard among them." 

" That may be," answers the guest, holding his ears, " but for mercy's 
sake let them keep silence, for their music rends my very soul ! " 

The pohcy of the Russian slave-master is betrayed by an uncle to his 
nephew thus : he takes him into his garden and shows him his fishpond, 
wliich he has filled with pike. " But, good heavens ! " cries the inexpe- 
rienced nephew, " the pike will devour all the smaller fish ! " " Ha, ha ! 
you young fool, can't you understand ? That is just what I want ; after- 
wai*ds I shall kill the fattened pike." 

The conversation of two Kupzi betrays how the rogues in the gostinnoi 
dvor cheat and circumvent each other. " See, cousin," says one, " how 
God has helped me to-day. I have sold for three hundred rubles some 
Polish cloth that was not worth half the money ; it was to a booby of an 
officer, whom I persuaded it was fine Dutch. See, here is the money, thirty 
fine red bank-notes, spick and span new !" ** Show me the notes, friend, 

* Subordinate employe. 



/ 



70 



THE BLACK PEOPLE. 



they are every one bad ! Out upon you, fox, do you let yourself be so 
cheated by a wolf ? " 

In another picture the Gout and a Spider are meeting, and questioning 
one another on the road. " I am just come from Prince Andi*ai Ivano- 
witsch," says the spider, " in whose house I have lived a long time ; but, 
heavens ! what a deplorable Hfe ! The man is rolling in luxury, eats and 
drinks all day long, lies in bed and on soft sofas, and his servants will not let 
a poor insect any where alone, for fear he should disturb their master. They 
break my fine webs every day ; and when I have, with unwearied diligence, 
built up my house anew, it is as much as I can get a fly, which dainty food 
they wiU no more suffer in the prince's house than they will me myself. 
I am tired of this anxious life at last, and I am going to seek a more conve- 
nient lodgfing elsewhere." 

" And I have just come," says the Gout, " from the miserable hut of the 
peasant Paul Ignatievitsh, where I was as Httle pleased as you with the 
prince. The man has no rest all day long, and is constantly fighting with 
wind and weather. Scarcely have I made the attempt to be a Httle finendly 
with his bearskin, than up he jumps, throws aside the skin, and threshes 
com or chops wood till we can't hear or see. His benches and chairs are all 
hard oaken wood without cushions ; not the smallest comfort to be thought 
of. Then every thing is disorderly and dirty, and all sorts of creatures are 
continually flying in and out. I am tired of such doings, and have fore- 
sworn all peasants* houses for ever ; and, what do you think ? I have a mind 
to try your Prince Andrai, of whom you have said so many agreeable 
things." 

" Sister dear, pray show me the way to the peasant Paul, with whom I 
think I could get on very well ; for he will certainly put up with such a 
small evil as I am in some comer of his room." 

The Russian peasant is far from sparing, in his criticism, the rich and 
great, from whom he bears so much, although conscious of its injustice. In 
one of these fables a nobleman gives a box on the ear to one of his serfs, 
who has just saved his life from the attack of a bear, and cries out, " Stupid 
rascal, to tear the bear's skin so carelessly with thy clumsy axe ! Why 
didst not stim him with a stone, or strangle him with a rope ? What is his 
skin now worth to me at the furrier's ? Only wait, rascal, and I'll take an 
opportunity of reckoning with thee for the value of it." 

In another, a rich man announces in the newspapers that, moved by com- 
passion and the love of God, he has resolved on a certain day to clothe, feed, 
and provide with all necessaries, all the poor who shall apply to liim. Here- 
upon he receives the praises of all his friends, of the pious, and the public ; 
but on the appointed day his courtyard is full of fierce dogs, whose teeth 
effectually bar all entrance to it. 

The cunning of the Mushiks, in eluding the laws and the ordinances of 
religion, surpasses the art of the devil himself. It is said, " Ye shall eat no 
flesh on fast-days ; ye shall not boil eggs in water on your hearths, nor eat 
of any such eggs." A peasant, not inclined to forego the enjoyment of eggs 
on a last-day, knocks a nail into the wall, suspends the egg from it by a wire, 
and placing his lamp underneath, contrives to cook it in this mamier. He 
defends himself to a priest who has caught him in the fact by the assurance 
that he did not think that any breach of the commandment. " Ah, the 
devil liimself must have taught thee that !" cries the priest in high displea 
sure. " Well then, yes, father, I must confess it — it was the devil who 
taught me." " No, that is not true," cries the devil, who, unobserved, is 



THE BLACK PEOPLE. 



71 



one of the party sitting on the stove, and laughing heartily as he looks 
TihLlrSrV^'^^SS' " It is not I that taught \nm this tnck, for 
T see it now for the first time myself. „ -r. ^x.- 

'^TW is no knowing how to get on in this world. Do a thmg one 
o r on^Tf fails— trv it another and that fails also," said one peasant to 
Zl£ ^A yeS ago I went a little tipsy into the loft with a Ught in 
r W, and, not iJng heed, I set the hay on fire and my house was 
hlnX the ground. Yesterday I went into the loft again not qmte 
i ; but thiftime I put the li/ht earefuUv out : and no>v, while I was 
fee W about and forgot the door, I tmnblei through, and have unlucky 
spiS my foot, and broken two of my teeth out. You are a prudent 
lZ^b2oi kum (dear cousin), ^ve me your advice^shaU I go mthor 
without a fight another time ? " " My advice is, dear cousm, another tune 

""""whafthe Russians think of authors is shown in another picture, repre- 
senting: a part of heU. There are two caldrons hangmg m the foreground ; 
Tone^si's^ robber, in the other a wicked author. Under the caldron of 
the latter the devil is busily employed in feedmg a large fire ; whde^der 
the robber's kettle there is only a httle dry wood, which "/^ ^f^^ a 
very agreeable warmth. The author, who has hfted the hd of his kettle 
to look over at the thief, complains to the devil that he is worse treated than 
so notorious a rogue ; but the devil gives Inm a knock on the W, ^^ 
says, " Thou wast worse than he ; his sms have died with hnn, but thme 
wiU remain indestmctible for ages." ,. . ^. • -u^ «t.^ of 

The presumption of mankind in strivmg to attam the impossible, and at 
the same time the ready behef of the public in boasters and charlatans is 
well satirized. A magpie gives notice that on such a day she wdl set hre 
to the sea with a lighted match, and men and anmials have crowded to the 
coast to see. The magpie flies with the kindled match to the sea, and as 
soon as she has touched it, what follows ?-simply that the water extmguishes 
the fire, and the sea is not bumt. " Did not I teU you it would be so t 
says a lapdog hereupon to his neighbour the sheep. , , , . ^ xi. 

The ass comes in for his share. The animals are assembled to try the 
pike for his crimes ; and the ass, with universal applause, pronounces 
sentence, that the pike shall be drowned. The pike is earned with great 
rejoicing to a deep pond, where, after getting rid of the other animals, he 
finds himself extremely comfortable. . • x ii> 

Again : the pig and the cat swear friendship, and conspu-e agamst the 
mice. The cat gets many a good dinner thereby, but the mice eat the 
bacon off the pig's back. 



CHAPTER IX. 



THE CHURCHES. 



Madame de StaSl, when she beheld Moscow from the elevation of the 
Kremhn, turned to her companions and exclaimed, " Voila Rome Tatare'' 
The Russians themselves like to compare their city to that world-subduer 



12 



THE CHURCHES. 



of antiquity ; and many as are tlie peculiarities that distinguish the one 
from the other, it is not to be denied that there are pomts wherein they 
assiimlate, and among them is that of extreme toleration in the matter of 
religion. With whatever tenacity the Russians, hke the Romans, may 
chng to the religion of their forefathers, they yet wilHngly admit other 
g)ds by the side of their own, and either because they tliink, hke the 
Romans, that it can do no harm to reverence other invisible powers, or 
because, to give the matter a more Christianlike expression, as they well 
say, " Vso adin Bog'' (There is one God over all), they will even bow down 
ad reverentially in foreign churches as in their own. 

The capital of the Russians contains places of worship for all confessions. 
In the finest street in St. Petersburg, the Nevskoi Prospekt, there are Ar- 
menian, Greek, Protestant, Roman CathoHc, United and Disunited, Sunnite 
and Schiite places of prayer hi most famihar neighbourhood ; and the street 
has, therefore, not inaptly received the sobriquet of Toleration-street. 

St. Petersburg, like Bcrhn, is a child of om- days ; a birth that first saw the 
hght under the sun of a philosophical age. In opposition to Moscow, as 
iTj-^^ opposition to Vienna, St. Petersburg luis neither so many nor 
such distinguished churches as Moscow, although the major pail; are built 
m a pleasmg and ta^tefid style : in the modern Russian, which is a mix- 
ture of the Grecian, Byzantine, old Russian, and new Em-opean archi- 
tecture, the Byzantine, which was brought from Constantinople with 
Christianity, being the most prominent. A building in the form of a 
cross ; m the midst, a large cupola, and at the four ends, four small, 
narrow-pointed cupolas, the points surmounted by crosses ; a gi-and en- 
trance, adorned with many columns, and tlu-ee side entrances without 
columns, such is the exterior form of the greater part of the Russian 
churches, including the tliirty churches of St. Petersburg,— about one- 
tenth of the number dispersed tlirough the streets of Moscow the Holy. In 
the former, the interiors are lighter, brighter, more simple, more elegant ; 
m the latter, more overloaded with ornament, darker, more varied in 
colour, more grotesque. The handsomest church in St. Petersburg is 
Isaac s church. The exterior is finished. It wants only the last decoration 
for the interior, the trophies and the pictures of saints. This church 
stands in the largest and most open place in the city, in the midst of its 
toest bmldings and monuments : the Winter Palace, the Admiralty, the 
War-office, Alexander's pillar, and the rock of Peter the Great ; and will, 
when It has laid aside its mantle of scaffolding, show itself worthy of 
such neighbours. On the spot where it stands, they have been at work 
upon a place of worship for the last century. A wooden church was fol- 
lowed by a church of brick ; a church of marble was then attempted, 
which faUed, and was finished in brick. This ludf-and-half building 
vam^hed in its turn, and, under Nicholas the Fu^t, the present magnificent 
building was erected, which will scarcely find so splendid a successor. It is 
entirely composed of granite blocks and polished marble. To make a 
farm foundation, a whole forest of pUes was sunk in the swampy soil. 
From the level of the upper part of Peter's place, rise three broad flights of 
steps, which separately served the fabulous giants of the Finnish mythology 
^r seats. They are formed from masses of granite rock brought from 
± inland. These steps lead from the four sides of the buildmg to the four 
chief entrances, each of which has a superb peristyle. The pillars of 
these peristyles are sixty feet high, and have a diameter of seven feet. 



THE CHURCHES. 



73 



All magnificent granite monoliths from Finland, buried for centuries in its 
swamps, tiU brought to light by the triumphant power of Russia, and 
rounded, pohshed, and erected as Caryatides, to the honour of God, m his 
temple The pillars are crowned with capitals of bronze, and support the 
enonnous beam of a frieze formed of six fire-polished bloclcs. Over the 
peristyles, and at twice their height, rises the chief and central cupola, 
Wher than it is wide, in the Byzantine proportion. It is supported also by 
thirty pillars of smooth polished granite, which, although gigantic iii 
thenielves, look small compared to those below. The cupola is covered 
with copper overiaid with gold, and glitters Uke the sun over a mountain. 
From its centre rises a small elegant rotunda, a miniature repetition of tlie 
whole, looking like a chapel on a mountain-top. The whole edifice is sur- 
rounded by the crowning and far-seen golden cross. Four smaUer cupolas, 
resemblmg the greater in every particular, stand aromid, like children 
round a mother, and complete the harmony visible in every part, ihe 
walls of the church are to be covered with marble, and no doubt Isaacs 
church will be the most remarkable building in St. Petersburg, and super- 
sede the Kasan church of the Virgin for gi-eat state festivals. This Kasan 
church, which stands on the perspective, is a monument of the so-otten 
failing spirit of imitation in Russia. The Russians wish to umte m their 
capital all that is grand or beautiful in the whole civilized world. This 
church is meant for a copy of St. Peter's at Rome, and unbearable as a copy, 
is moreover not a good copy. The puny effort is almost comic in its contrast 
to the mighty work of Buonarotti. It is fortunate that it lies so far 
from its origmal ; after the many lands he must pass through to reach it,, 
the foreign spectator may have forgotten the impression of the southern 
prototype, and hence find the northern copy endurable. As in Rome, a 
portico of pillars leads from either side in a semicircle to the two entrances 
of the church ; but the pillars are small, and what in Rome seemed necessary 
and suitable to circumstances, is here a supei-fluous and incomprehensible 
appendage. The doors are of bronze covered with a multitude of woith- 
less bas-reliefs. In gi-eat niches along the sides of the church stand 
colossal statues of the grand dukes Vladimir, and Alexander Nevsky, of 
St. John and St. Andi-ew. In the mterior, which is httle suited to the 
wants of divine service, as performed in Russia, they were obliged to place 
the high altai-, not opposite the chief entrance, but very a\ykwardly at the 
side. All is dark and straitened, and one cannot help pit^ang the fifty-six 
monoUths, the mighty giants who support the little roof, and lamenting that 
their prodigious strength is not employed in a labour more worthy of 

them. 

Apart from these architectural discords, the church is not wanting m 
interest. First of all the greedy eye is attracted by the silver of the 
Ikonostases (the pictorial wall of the sanctuary). The balustrades, doors, 
and doorways of the Ikonostases are generally of wood, carved and 
gilded, but in this church all its beams and posts are of massive silver. 
The pillars of the balustrade round the holy place, the posts of the three 
doors, the arches twenty feet in height above the altar, and the franaes of 
the pictures are of fine silver. The silver beams are all higlily polished, 
and reflect with dazzling brilliancy the light of the thousand tapers that 
burn before them. I could not learn how many hundred weight of silver 
were employed, but, doubtless, many thousands of dozens of French and 
German spoons, and hundreds of soup-tureens and teapots must have been 



74 



THE CHURCHES. 



melted down to furnish the material ; for it was the Cossacks, laden with 
no inconsiderable booty from the campaigns of 1813 and 1814, that made 
an oflPering of this mass of silver to the holy Mother of Kasan, for the object 
to which it is now appropriated. They seem to have a pecvJiar veneration 
for this Madonna, who is half their countrywoman, for John Vassielevitsh 
brought her from Kasan to Moscow, whence Peter the Great transported 
her to St. Petersbm*g. Her picture set with pearls and precious stones 
hangs in the church. It was before tliis pictiu-e that Kutusoff prayed be- 
fore he advanced to meet the enemy in 1812, for which reason she is consi- 
dered to be closely connected with tha* campaign. 

All the St. Petersburg churches are already adorned with trophies 
gained from various nations of Eiu-ope and Asia, particularly the 
Kasan chiu-ch, the cathedral of the metropolitan ; they are hung up on 
the pillars and in the corners of the church. Keys of German and 
French towns, marshal's batons from French generals, and a number of 
standards from Turks and Persians. The Persian flags are easily known 
by a silver hand as large as life fastened to the end. The Turkish flags, 
surmounted by the crescent, are merely large, handsome unsoiled pieces 
of cloth, mostly red, and so new and spotless that they might be sold 
again to the aierchant by the ell. It looks as if both Turks and Persians 
had handed their flags over to the Russians out of politeness, and without 
striking a blow. The French colours which hang near them, offer a sad 
but most honourable contrast. They are rent to pieces, and to many of 
the eagles, only a single dusty frag^ment is attached. Of some the Rus- 
sians have only carried off the flag-staff, perhaps because the French 
ensign had swallowed the last rag, that it might not fall into the hands 
of the enemy. How many unknown deeds of heroism may not those 
flags have witnessed. Those eagles with their expanded wings, with 
which they vainly sought to cover the whole empire, look strangely 
enough in the places they now roost in. 

Amongst the field-marshals* batons is that of the Prince of Eckmuhl, 
and among the keys suspended to all the pillars, are those of the cities of 
Hamburg, Leipzig, Dresden, Rheims, Breda, Utrecht, and many other 
German, French and Netherland cities, before whose gates a Russian 
trumpet has once been blown. 

After the church of Kasan, that of Peter and Paul, in the fortress, is 
the most interesting. It was built by an Itahan architect, under Peter 
the Great, and stands nearly in the middle of the city, opposite the 
Winter Palace. Its pointed slender tower, exactly resembUng that of the 
Admiralty, rises like a mast 340 feet in height; for the last 150 feet 
the tower is so small and thin, that it must be cUmbed hke a pine-tree. 
On one occasion, when the metal angel on the top wanted some repairs, 
an adventurous workman reached the summit thus : from the last gallery 
of the tower he knocked in a hook as high as he could reach from a 
ladder, threw a rope over it, and dragged himself up by it ; he then 
knocked m a second hook, which he also mounted by means of his rope, 
and so reached the top. On the gilding of this slender tower, which is 
seen from all parts of St. Petersburg Hke a golden needle hovering in the 
air, particularly when, as is frequently the case, the lower part is veiled in 
fog, 10,000 ducats have already been lavished. 

The Peter- Paul church in St. Petersburg is a kind of sequel to the 
Arkhangelskoi Sabor in Moscow ; the one continues the regbter of the 



THE CHURCHES. 



76 



deceased rulers of Russia, from where the other leaves off. In Moscow are 
interred the Russian czars down to Peter the Great ; he, and those that suc- 
ceeded him, in the Peter-Paul church. Whoever has seen the monuments 
of the Polish kings at Cracow, or those of the French and English kings and 
Italian princes, will wonder at the simplicity and absence of ornament m this 
last restmff -place of the Russian emperors, particularly when he thinks of the 
splendour of^he Winter Palace. The simple coffins are placed m the vaults, 
and over them in the church is nothing further in the shape of a monu- 
ment than a stone coffin-shaped sarcophagus, covered with a red pall. 
On the pall the name of the deceased emperor or emperor's son is 
embroidered in golden letters, quite simply, as " His Imperial Highness 
the Grand-Duke Constantino ;" " His Imperial Majesty the Emperor 
Peter the First," &c. In some there is nothing but the initial letters, 
and here and there some unimportant trophy. On the sarcophagus of 
the Grand-Duke Constantino Ue merely the keys of some Pohsh fortresses. 
Peter the Third, to whom Catherine in her lifetime refused this place, 
rests there now. Paul placed both Catherine and his father there. A 
hundred cannon, impregnable bastions, and a garrison of 3000 men 
defend the place, which can be desecrated by hostile hands only when all 
St. Petersburg Ues in ruins. The Russian princes are the only ones in 
Europe, as far as I know, who are buried within the walls of a fortress. 

Around the sarcophagi, on the pillars, and in the comers, flags and 
other trophies are suspended as in the Kasan church. Those of Persia and 
Turkey are particularly numerous. They lie here as in a museum ; 
batons of Turkish commanders and grand viziers, generally made of brass 
or silver, beautifully wrought, something hke the small battle-axes in use 
in the middle ages; the triple horse-tails of the pachas, many insignia of 
the Janizaries, and a collection of most singidarly-formed keys of Turkish 
and Persian fortresses. All the Persian flags have the outstretched silver 
hand at their extremities. The flag itself is an excessively long trian- 
gular piece of double silk stuff trimmed with lace, having in the middle a 
panther, over whose back radiates the broad disk of a sun. They are all 
in as good condition as the Turkish ; in one or two a ball has passed 
through the sun, and on one only can be traced five bloody finger-marks 
of the Turkish standard-bearer who died defending it. Three hundred of 
these Persian suns and Turkish crescents bend here before the cross of the 

Christians. ^ 

Among the sacred vessels we were shown some turned m wood and 
ivory, the work of Peter the Great. It is mcomprehensible how this 
imwearied man could govern a great empire in all its details, establish 
manufactures, build cities, dig canals, organize an army, a fleet, a host of 
public offices, found schools, academies, universities, theatres, and withal 
find time to make these crosses, candelabras, and cups of ebony and ivory, 
and so to finish and polish every minute part, that any German guild 
would have pronounced it a masterpiece. To show with what extreme 
art these productions are finished, we may mention that the centre of one 
of these crosses is ornamented with a circular sUde of ivory on which the 
crucifixion, with the mourning women below, are carved in bas-rehef. 
A multitude of rays issue from this sHde as from a sun, every ray is turned 
in ebony, in the ornamenting of which, with all manner of ^ carving, an 
enormous degree of labour must have been expended. It is impossible 
to withhold our astonishment at this gifted and enthroned Proteus, and 



76 



THE CHURCHES. 



he who stands by his grave, be lie who he may, will wish peace to his 
ashes, and blessing and prosperity to all the good, that has proceeded from 
him. Great God ! who would not wish that Peter could, from his tomb, cast 
one glance upon the flourishing city, that with such unspeakable toil and 
difficulty he founded amidst the swamps of the Neva. But life is so short 
that a man can rarely enjoy the fruits of what he has discovered, planted, or 
created. Perhaps Peter's prophetic spmt foresaw what here woiUd be ; 
yet here, if ever, the reahty nmst have surpassed all expectation. 

Among the Greek- Russian churches, that of the Smolnoi convent is 
distinguished for the taste of its decorations. It was finished about a year 
ago, and may serve strangers as a specimen of the modern Russian style 
of church architecture. It is more spacious than Russian churches are in 
general, and its five cupolas are placed in harmonious relation with one 
another. They are painted deep blue, sprinkled with golden stars. A high, 
magnificent, beautifully-designed iron grating — whose rails, or rather pil- 
lars, are wound with wreaths of vine-leaves and flowers, in ironwork — 
surrounds the courtyards of the convent ; and above it wave the elegant 
birch and hme trees. Seated on a gentle elevation on a comer of land, 
round which the Neva bends to the west, this cloister, with its mysterious 
reserve, and the alluring colours with which it is clothed, resembles a 
magic palace of the Arabian Nights. From the eastern subm*b of St. 
Petersburg, and from Sunday-street, which is two versts long, and leads 
directly to it, the cloister is seen far and near ; and from all quarters of 
the world, the orthodox believers bow and cross themselves at the sight of 
its cupolas. This building is dedicated to the education and mstruction 
of young girls of noble and citizen birth, of whom not less than 500 
are brought up at the cost of the government, and 300 at their o^vn. The 
church of the cloister, which is open to the public as a place of worship, 
has something extremely pleasing in its style of decoration ; only two 
colours are to be seen, that of the gold framework of the ornamental 
objects, and of the white imitative marble, highly polished, and covering 
all the walls, pillars, and arches. Several galleries, which are illuminated 
on high festival- days, run like garlands round the interior of the dome. 
Not less than four-and-twenty stoves of gigantic dimensions are scattered 
about the church, which they keep at the temperature of the study, and 
greet all that enter, with true Clmstian warmth. These stoves are built 
like little chapels, so tliat at first they are taken for church ornaments. 
The Russians love pomp and splendoiu* in their churches ; in this, the 
balustrades surrounding the Ikonostas are of the finest glass, the doors 
are formed of golden columns twined and interlaced with vine leaves and 
ears of corn in carved and gilded wood. The pictures of this Ikonostas 
are all new, painted by the pupils of the St. Petersburg Academy. The 
faces of the apostles and saints, of the Madonna and of the Redeemer, iu 
the old Russian pictures, have all the well-known Byzantine or Indian 
physiognomy on the handkerchief of St. Veronica in Boissere's collection ; 
small, long-cut eyes, dark complexion, excessively thin cheeks, a small 
mouth, thin hps, slender ringlets, and a scanty beard ; the nose imcom- 
monly sharp and pointed, quite vanishing at the root between the eyes, 
and the head very round. In the new pictures of the Russian school, 
they have copied the national physiognomy as seen in the Russian mer- 
chants ; full red cheeks, a long beard, light and abundant hair, large blue 
eyes, and a blunted nose. It is wonderful that the Russian clergy have 



THE CHURCHES. 



77 



permitted this deviation from the old models ; the new ones, however, are 
held in verv little respect by the people, who reverence only the old, dusty 
and dusky saints, and are as little inclined to accept faces they can under- 
stand, as to hear divine sendee in a language they can comprehend, for 
the old Slavonian dialect, which continues to be used, is unintelligible to 
them. The Empress Maria, the foundress and benefactress of the convent, 
has a simple monument in the chm-ch, which is dedicated in her honour to 

St. Mary. 

There are only two convents in St. Petersburg ; this of Smolnoi,— one only in 
name, for the Empress Catherine's 20 nuns have long since been dispossessed 
by the 800 young ladies, — and that of St. Alexander Nevskoi, for monks. 
The latter is one of the most celebrated in Russia, a Lavra,* and inferior in 
rank only to the *' Lavra of the Trinity" in Moscow, and to the Lavra of the 
Cave in Kiev. Its proper name is Alexander Nevskaya svatotroitzkaya 
Lavra (the Alexander Nevsky sacred Trinity Lavra). It is the seat 
of the Metropolitan of St. Petersburg, and stands at the extreme end 
of the Nevskoi Prospekt, where it occupies a large space, enclosing 
within its walls, churches, towers, gardens, and monks' cells. Peter the 
Great founded it in honour of the canonized Grand-Duke Alexander, who, 
in a great battle here defeated the Swedes and knights of the military 
orders, and whose remains were brought hither in a silver coffin. Peter's 
successors increased the possessions and buildings of the cloister, and 
Catherine built its cathedral, one of the handsomest chm-ches in St. Peters- 
burg. For the interior decoration, marble was brought from Italy, precious 
stones from Siberia, and peai'ls from Persia ; it is finisher adorned with 
some good copies after Guido Reni and Perugino ; the altarpiece, the 
Annunciation of the Virgin, is by Rafaelle Mengs, or as the monk our 
guide assured as by " Arphaele" (Rafaelle) himself. In one of the chapels 
are some pictures by " Robinsa," that is, not Robinson, but Rubens. " On 
Italiansky" (He was an Italian), as our worthy Father added in expla- 
nation. Pictures by foreign masters are otherwise something unheard of in 
a Russian church. From Robinson to the Cannibals is no great leap, and 
therefore we were the less frightened when our guide, pointing to a comer 
of the chm^ch said, " There lies a Cannibal." We read the inscription, it 
was the well-known Russian general Hannibal. The Russians, who have 
no H, change that letter almost always into K. 

On two great pillars opposite the altar, are two excellent portraits, Peter 
the Great and Catherine the Second, larger than life. These two, as 
" Founder' and " Finisher," are every where united in St. Petersburg, 
like man and wife. AVliat might have been the result had they been really 
so ? Would he have driven her out as he did his sister Sophia ? or she him, 
as she did her husband Peter the Third? or would Russia have gained 
doubly by the union ? In a side-chapel stands the monument of Alexander 
Nevsky. It is of massive silver, and contains not less than five thousand 
pounds of pure metal ; it is a silver mountain fifteen feet high, on which 
stands a silver catafalco, and silver ang(?ls, as big as a man, with trumpets, 
and silver flowers, and a quantity of bas-relief in silver, representing the 
battle of the Neva. We lighted up two wax tapers at his grave, and were 
pleased to see how calmly they glimmered in his honour. This kindhng 



* The liohest convents in the empire, the seats of the Metropolitans, are called 
Lavras ; the other convents are only monastirs. 



18 



THE CHURCHES. 



THE CHUaCHES. 



79 






of lamps and tapers in Russian churches is a pretty custom ; the Kttle flame 
is so living a symbol of the continued life of the soul, and beyond all other 
material thmgs, flame is the best representation of the spiritual. The 
Russians have so closely adopted this idea, that there is no interment, no 
baptism, no betrothing, in short, no sacred ceremony without torch, lamp, 
or taper to be thought of ; fire is for them the pledge of the presence of 
the Holy Spirit, and hence illuminations play the mbst important part in 
their church ceremonies. 

The keys of Adrianople are suspended to the tomb of St. Alexander ; 
they are strikingly small, not much larger than the keys of a money-box, 
which, in fact, Adrianople has in many respects been to Russia. 

The Nevsky cloister has profited yet more by the presents sent from 
Persepolis to the northern Petropolis, when the Russian ambassador Gribo- 
yedofF was murdered in Teheran, than by the Byzantine tribute. The 
Persian gifts consisted of a long train of rare animals, Persian webs, gold- 
stuffs, and pearls. They reached St. Petersburg in the winter. The 
pearls, and goldstuffs, and rich shawls were carried in great silver and gold 
dishes by magnificently-dressed Persians. The Persian prince Khosreff 
Mirza drove in an imperial state equipage Avith six horses ; the elephants, 
bearing on their backs towers filled with Indian warriors, had leathern 
boots to protect them from the cold, and the cages of the tigers and lions 
were provided with double skins of the northern polar bears. 

It was hke a procession in the Arabian Nights, it would have been said 
among us, and the population of whole provinces would have run together 
to behold it. " It was a trifling afi*air," they said in St. Petersburg, " and 
some of the pearls were false." It excited but little attention. The 
elephants soon died of the cold, and a part of the pearls were given to the 
Nevsky cloister. We saw whole boxes full of them there, besides a rich col- 
lection of mitres set in jewels, pontifical robes of gold brocade, and 
souvenirs of individual metropolitans and princes ; among them, an epis- 
copal staff turned by Peter the Great, and presented by him to the first 
St. Petersburg metropolitan, another of amber, from Catherine II., and 
a number of other valuables which, found elsewhere, singly, would be ad- 
mired and described, but here in the mass of treasure are unnoticed. 
The library of about ten thousand volumes, independently of a number 
of very valuable manuscripts, concerning which many books quite un- 
known to us have been written, contains many rare specimens of the 
antiquities of Russia. 

The Sergieff convent, between St. Petersburg and Peterhof, contains 
little that is remarkable, unless we reckon as such its Archimandrite, 
who is a young and handsome man, and was formerly an officer in the 
army. The Preobrashensky church belongs to one of the oldest regi- 
ments of guards, founded by Peter the Great, the tenth legion of the 
Russian Caesars. This church, the " Spass-Preobrashenskoi-Sabor," is one 
of the most considerable of the city, and more than any other adorned 
both without and within, with trophies from conquered nations. The 
railing that surrounds the churchyard is formed of Turkish and French 
cannon. Every three of those three hundred cannon, one large and 
two smaller, mounted on a granite pedestal, with their mouths pointed 
downwards, form a column. Around the cannon, chains of different 
thickness, gracefully twined, are himg like garlands between the columns ; 
on the summit of each is enthroned a Russian double eagle of iron, 



"i 



with expanded wings. Within, the church is adorned with flags and 
halberds, the pillars look like palm-fxees of which every leaf is a lance. 
Here also travellers are shown a production of Russian inventive talent; 
the work of a common peasant. It is a large, splendid piece of clock- 
work, made by him in his native village, bought for 20,000 nibles by his 
lord, and presented to the church. The works are said to be so good as 
to have stood in no need of repair during the six years the clock has been 

^^ Trinity chilrch is also a modem erection like the Smolnoi convent, and 
very similar to it. The exterior offers an example of the very fantastic 
manner in which the Russians decorate their churches. Lnder the cor- 
nice of the dark blue star-bespangled cupola, an arabesque of vine-leaves and 
flowers runs all round. The gariands are held up by angels, and between 
every pair of them a crown of thorns is introduced as a centre. But tor 
tliis martyr-token of Christianity, we might fancy the gay temple of some 

Grecian god before us. #. i ^ r r g* 

The half, and certainly the more important half, of the churches ot fet. 
Petersburg are the erections of the present century. The Nicolai church, 
the church of the Resurrection, and some others of the time of Cathe- 
rine, are not worth mention in an architectural point of view. In the 
church of the Resurrection I saw some very singular offerings to the samts ; 
among others a patchwork qmlt, probably the offering of some devout 
beggar, and containing the best of her rags. It was made out of a vast 
number of pieces great and small, woollen, linen, and silk, worked with 
gold thread, perhaps taken from the cast off epaulets of some officer of 
the guards, and in the middle a golden cross was sewed on. In the 
Nicolai church, which is bmlt in two stories, one for divine service 
during winter, and the other in summer, I found the fOur small cupolas 
tenanted by a number of pigeons, who had made their nests there, and 
were fed by the attendants with the rice which the pious placed there for 
the dead. I entered the church at the same time vnih. a splendidly- 
attired merchant's wife, who had just stepped out of her carnage, and 
called out to her French companion, " Attendez un moment, je veuxjaire 
mes prieresr She went to all the saints' pictures one after the other, 
made her reverence, ogling them most graciously, and then danced out 
again with a well-pleased motion of the head, and drove to another church. 
Among the churches of other confessions, that biult by Paul, when he 
assumed the protectorship of the Maltese Order, is at least interesting. 
It is quite in the style of the old churches of the Knights of St. John, 
and still contains the chair on which the emperor sat as grand-master of 

the order. 

The largest catholic church is on the Prospekt, opposite the Kasan 
church. The priests are Germans, and the service half Gennan, half 
Latin. It is attended by the Poles and Lithuanians, to whom the chanting, 
by the congregation, of the " immaculate Virgin," " the Queen of Hea- 
ven," "the Tower of God," "the Fortress of Zion," in itself sufficiently 
unintelligible, must be necessarily still more so here. The Russians rarely 
attend the cathoUc service ; if they go to any foreign church it is 
generally the protestant. The catholics, Greeks, and Armenians (the 
latter have also a very pretty church on the Prospekt) hold to the doc- 
trine of the Trinity, but the Dutch as it appears to a Duality ; for, on 
their chvirch stands the singular inscription, ^* Deo et salvatori sacrum^ 



80 



THE CHURCHES. 



This cliiirch, with its very rich dotation, dates from Peter the Great, when 
tlie Dutch were the most considerable merchants, and were endowed by 
the Hberal czar with so much land within the city, that many a Dutch 
cathedral may envy the church of this little northern colony. 

The English are the only foreigners in St. Petersburg who keep exclusively 
to their own community, and foi-m a kind of state within a state, or at 
least endeavour to do so. On their church on the Neva is inscribed, 
" Chapel of the English Factor}^'* and the same is stamped on all their 
prayer books. This factory is not one of the least interesting of aU the 
settlements that this remarkable nation has scattered over the whole globe. 
Though small in numbers, (there are about 800 souls,) it is extremely 
rich, and in credit, power, and opulence perhaps as important as a settle"- 
ment of 20,000 individuals of any other nation. Many English have 
entered the Russian service, and seem to do extremely well in it. When 
i visited their church I counted twenty Russian epaulets on young 
English officers. "Farther, farther," said a voice behind me, as I stood 
m the entrance, looking over the little congregation and estimating their 
numbers. It was an elegant, but grave and severe-looking gentleman, 
who directed my attention to the regulations suspended from a pillar, 
which forbade standing in the passages, and then gave me a seat. On one oc- 
casion when the Emperor Nicholas visited this church, and stood still at the 
entrance, he also was addressed with the " Farther, farther ! your ma- 
jesty," and shown to a seat. Extreme quiet, which is not the least im- 
portant part of public worship, and is certainly more conducive to devo- 
tion than singing or any other exercise, reigned over the whole assembly. 
But it was not all aUke pleasing or edifying. The English episcopal service 
is certainly susceptible of much reformation and improvement. The very 
monotonous, though not displeasing singing, (they never make such an 
outcry as in many German congregations,) occupies the greater part of 
the time. The sermon is short, the manner of dehvering it without 
eloquence or fervour. The St. Petersburg preacher, moreover, propped his 
head sometimes on his right, sometimes on his left hand, and sometimes 
on both together, which would have looked indecorous in a coffee-house, 
but in the pulpit, and from a preacher, was in the highest degree impro- 
per and offensive. The Enghsh clerk, who sits under the pulpit, constantly 
repeats certain words of the preacher in such ajoumeyman-like fashion, and 
in so nasal and trumpeting a tone, that it is really difficult to keep properly 
m view the gravity of the occasion, and not to be unduly excited by the 
rery comic effect. It is strange also, and beneath the dignity of the 
preacher, to leave his seat so often during the prayers, and appear now 
here and now there, now at the altar, and now in his desk. 

There are several German Lutheran churches in St. Petersburg, but 
they would not be sufficient to contain the 40,000 German protestants 
there settled, if they were as zealous church-goers there as in their native 
land. The church of St. Anne is the most important ; the preachers 
appear much too fine in the pulpit, covered as they are with orders, 
whose gay colours form a glaring contrast with their black gowns. There 
is also a great deal of luxury and ostentation among the German con- 
gregations. One day I found St .Anne's church all hung with black, 
the pulpit decked with crape, before the altar several tapers were bum- 
mg as in the Greek churches, and in the midst was placed a coffin covered 
With silver, and before the door, carriages, some with two, some with four 



THE CHITRCHES. 



81 



horses, and a whole chorus of black muffled torch-bearers. In great 
astonishment I asked what German prince had died here. It is the confec- 
tioner K , of Vassili Ostroff, was the answer! We forgive luxury 

and ostentation in princes and nobles much more readily than in upstarts 
and mechanics, because to those bom in the purple, it comes as some- 
thing of course ; they fancy it cannot be otherwise. But the others have 
■ a bad conscience in their proceedings, hide it but indifferently, and may 
be said to invade the rights of the public. 

In a foreign land, even the most insignificant a])pearance has an unusual 
interest, and if we bestow little attention on a fruit-tree in a garden, we 
examine it more closely by a hermitage, or in a wilderness. Such a fruit-tree 
is the small brotherhood of Herrnhuters in St. Petersburg. Their small 
adorned house of prayer is at the end of Isaac's-street, and is entered 
through a light, cheerful court. There are very few of them ; not more 
than jfifty brothers, it is said, form the centre of this congregation ; but the 
reputation of their piety, and the eloquence of their preachers, has spread 
so far, that on every holiday many persons assemble here, high and low, 
Germans, Russians, Poles, and French. The church is always so full that 
the people press up to the open windows to take part in the service, and the 
pastor opens the doors of his adjoining apartments to find places for the 
congregation. 



CHAPTER X. 



THE SERVANTS OF ST. PETERSBURG. 



From very ancient times the Russian nobles have divided their serfs into 
two classes : the agricultural peasants who live on the estates and cultivate 
the soil, and the so-called " Dvomiye Liudi,'* who are chosen for the per- 
sonal service of the lord, as footmen, gardeners, coachmen, and others. 
These servants soon obtained certain advantages ; were not used to dig the 
soil, and not given up for military service. As they were no better fed in 
their lord's house than in their o\vn, had their own bread and kwas to pro- 
vide, to be content with what remained from their lord's table, and as they 
had rarely any other clothing than that worn on the paternal dunghill, such 
servants cost very little to keep, and whole companies of stable-boys, stove- 
heaters, scullions, lamplighters, couriers, table-coverers, and housemaids, 
were easily admitted into a household. These thorough old Russian 
servants, who, with their shoes of lime-bark, and sheepskin cloaks, formed 
a strange contrast to the palaces they lived in, where they slept on the 
stoves in the kitchen, or on the chairs and floors of the rooms, are still to 
be met -with in country houses in the interior. Even in many houses in 
Moscow and St. Petersburg (generally in those of the poorer nobles) the 
lower offices of the household are still filled by these serf servants, who 
are provided perhaps with a better caftan and boots, but after serving for a 
time in the kitchen or the stable, are dismissed to their fields again. These 
people differ too little from the rest of the peasants to form a class apart. 



82 



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THE SERVANTS OF ST. PETERSBURG. 



83 



it! 



The observation which the masters soon made, that their own serfs were 
much idler, slower, and more perverse in service than those who worked 
for hire, the increasing wants of a newly-civilized capital, and of luxury 
growing with the growth of the empire, have called forth a numerous class 
of ministering spirits, consisting of natives of all nations, and of the most 
various relations in life, the study of which is one of the most interesting^ 
that a capital can ofter to the ethnograph or psychologist.* By far the^ 
larger pai-t are those members of the supei-fluous population of the estates, 
who are not wanted for the cultivation of the soil, and whom their lords 
have permitted to seek their fortmie in the towns. They are funiished 
with a pass or permit, Avhich runs thus : " I permit my krepostnoi 
tshelovek (serf) Jephim, — on payment of a yearly sum of sixty, seventy, 
eighty rubles (as the case may be) which he is to transmit half-yearly, —to 
seek his livelihood in any way, in any town or village of the Russian 
empire, for so many years until it be my pleasure to call him back to my 
estate, X., where he is registered." The serfs thus manumitted for a 
time, come to the cities and engage in various occupations, in hotels, 
coffee-houses, manufactories, and in wealthy private families, where, how- 
ever, those entirely free are preferred, on account of the dependence 
of the former on another master, by whom they are continually liable to 
be recalled. It is curious to see with what inconceivable adroitness and 
rapidity these people from the plough accommodate themselves to their 
new position. They come up raw and unfashii)ned from the sheepfold, 
stumble over the floors of the sitting-rooms, and scarcely know how to 
place a table against the wall. In a few months they are coxcombs in 
gay liveries, exhaling perfume, dancing on the smoothest polished floor 
with the waiting-maids, and assisting their masters into their carriages 
with the grace of a court page. 

An inmiense number of servants are recruited from the anny. These 
poor fellows, when they are dismissed after their twenty or twenty-five 
years' service, have commonly forgotten dimng that time any mechanical 
art whereby they might live, have lost their relations by death, and their 
former masters by having served as soldiers, for the emperor's service sets 
them free from all other. On the other hand, as Dentshuks (servants) to 
so many officers, they have learned to obey to admiration, and, therefore, 
naturally seek employment to attend on single gentlemen, or as porters, 
messengers, or watchmen in public institutions. For the latter purpose, 
they are generally preferred to all others, for which reason they are met 
with in numbers at all hospitals, poor-houses, theatres, at the exchanges, 
and in the schools as door-keepers, waiters, &c., in their old worn uniforms, 
and a whole series of medals and crosses on their breasts. If any master 
desire a being who has absolutely no will of his own, who is ready to 
devote all his powers of mind and body to his service, who is yielding, 
submissive, and patient enough to bear all his whims and humours, even 
his anger and injustice, witliout a munnur ; in a word, if any one wish 
for the veiy ideal of a servant, who will bear his master, as it were, upon 
his hands, go through fire and water for him without complaint, who neither 
sleeps nor wakes without permission, nor eats nor drinks but at command, 
who makes no other answer, and has no other thought, on the receipt of any 



f «' 



♦ According to the statistical returns, there are not less than 85,000 of such at- 
tendant apirite in St. Tetersburg. 



possible order or commission but " slushu" (I obey), let him at once engage 
a Russian dentshuk, who, after he has endured the fiery ordeal of twenty 
years* service as a Russian soldier, and learnt suppleness by countless pu- 
nishments, will find the hardest place mild and easy. It is not possible that 
one who loves to rule could find a softer cushion whereon to lean than such 
a dentshuk — so good-tempered, so obliging, so imwearied, so attentive and 
obsequious as never other man can be, unless we could unbrutify our faithful 
dog, and breathe his devoted spirit into a speaking, living human form. 

After these three classes of Russian servants, the Germans are the most 
numerous in St. Petersburg, then the Finlanders, Esthonians, and Lettes. 
The French and Tartars fill only particular offices, but these almost exclu- 
sively. The English of this class are the fewest, and they, too, seem to 
appropriate some particular posts. To describe this division of employment 
by ?tatio7iSf it will be necessary to mention the different charges and offices 
in a Russian house more in detail. A review of this kind is, besides, well 
calculated to throw light upon the domestic life of Russia, as it characterizes 
not only the generally-overlooked class of servants, but in many respects 
their masters also. 

A fuUy-appointed house of the first class in Russia, without mentioning 
the numerous resident relations, old aunts, cousins, adopted children, &c., 
without mentioning the educational staff, the German, French, and Russian 
masters, tutors and governesses, the family physician, companions and others, 
who, as majorum gentium, must of coiu'se be excluded, has so astounding a 
number of serving-folk of one kind or another, that the like is to be found 
in no other coimtry in the world. The following may be named as never 
wanting in the list : the superintendent of accounts, the secretary, the 
dworezki or maitre d'hotel, the valets of the lord, the valets of the lady, the 
dyatka or overseer of the children, the footmen, the buffetshek or butler 
and his adjuncts, the table-decker, the head groom, the coachman and 
postilions of the lord, and the coachman and postilions of the lady, the 
attendants on the sons of the house and their tutors, the porter, the head 
cook and his assistant, the baker and the confectioner, the whole body of 
mushiks or servants minimarum gentium, the stove-heater, kwas brewer, 
the waiting-maids, and wardrobe-keeper of the lady, the waiting-maids of 
the gi-own-up daughters and of the governesses, the nurses in and past 
service and their under-nurses, and, when a private band is maintained, the 
Russian kapellmeister and the musicians. 

If all these places are tilled with free people, it may be easily supposed 
that the maintenance of such a household is no trifle in a city where wages 
are extravagantly high. The servants of the first-class, such as the maitre 
d'hotel, valets de chambre, and the furniture -keeper, generally have as much 
as 1000 i-ubles a year ; the head-cook, if a Frenchman, 2000, and sometimes 
more ; the coachman and footmen 30 to 50 rubles monthly ; the foreign 
waiting women 60 to 80 monthly ; and even the lowest of the house 
servants from 20 to 30, also montmy. Many of these posts are to be filled 
on each of the twenty estates that the family may possess under every 
meridian and parallel ; besides the army of stewaitis, gardeners, Saxon 
shepherds, miners, commissaries, pensioned servants, &c., who are all to be 
overlooked and paid from St. Petersburg, the principal residence of the 
family. For the receipt and payment of money, and the management 
of the con-espondence connected with it, some of the Russian grandees have 
almost as much counting-house business as a merchant in a considerable 

q2 



84 



THE SERVANTS OF ST. PETERSBURG. 



THE SERVANTS OF ST. PETERSBURG. 



85 



t 



wav of business. From these counting-houses the servants receive their 
wages, the pensioners of the family their allowance, and the heads of the 
house themselves the money for their personal expenses. The head of the 
financial department — often an intimate friend, or near relation of the 
family — lays at times an account before the chief, of the hundreds of thou- 
sands which he has received from the gold and platina mines of the Ural 
mountains, from the com -fields of Moscow, the vineyards of the Crimea and 
Caucasus, for the wool and tallow from the herds and flocks on the Steppes, 
or from the salt-mines of Biarmia ; and of the hundreds of thousands he 
has paid for sturgeons and pine-apples, bonnes, lackeys, and chambermaids. 
The dvorezki, who is considered as the head of the whole tribe of serving- 
men, and who generally possesses the full confidence of his lord and lady, 
is usually a Russian, has entered the house a boy, and risen by degrees to 
his important post. Of course he is a great man in the eyes of the other 
servants, most of whom he retains or dismisses at his pleasure ; and as 
keeper of the keys to all the stores of the house, all pay their court to him, 
and even the foreign waiting-maids dare not refuse him at Easter the 
" Christohs woskress" and the attendant salute. 

Of valets and footmen there are often from twelve to twenty in one house, 
and as they are paraded more than any other before the eyes of the public, 
the youngest and best-looking men are always picked out. They are 
dressed with great elegance, and have one livery for the house and another 
for the promenade — a state livery for balls and visits at court, where they 
are glorious in velvet and silk, and a mourning suit for the deaths that in 
families so extensively connected are of frequent occurrence. All these 
gentry are the supplest, most adroit fellows in the world — born Figaros — 
and in their manner, and in their very courteous and dancing-master-like 
demeanour, leave the lackeys of other countiies far behind. They are 
generally great draughts and chess players, and, with the little capital 
amassed from their wages, often carry on small money speculations within 
the house itself, where from time to time ready money is at a premium. 

There are no hussars and jagers in a Russian household, but Cossacks 
and Circassians in their national costume are numerous ; and Albanians, 
Servians, and Armenians are also sometimes seen in their rich native 
dresses ; nor are even negroes wanting in this rendezvous of nations. 
The datka, or ovei-seer of the little boys of the family, is an attendant 
rarely wanting in a Russian house. Very often he is some veteran 
soldier, who takes upon himself to meddle a little with education. As 
this branch of service is very well paid, better quahfied persons sometimes 
pursue it. He is to the boys what the bonnes are to the girls. He carries 
them about, takes them out to walk, tends them in sickness ; and it is 
really admirable to see the patience of these old child-loving veterans with 
their spoiled charges. 

Some families take a pride in baving the whole service of the house 
performed by French domestics, and some have among the first class of 
attendants, Germans, Swedes, and even Polish SWakhtitzi (inferior 
nobles) ; but in the stables, and all thereunto belonging, all are national, 
oriental, and long-bearded. A Tartar coachman is the most fashionable. 
It is plain that the whole form and essence of the Russian equipage is 
of Mongul-Tartar origin ; the numerous technical Tartar words in use 
may be cited in proof of this. According to a Russian's belief, this kind 
of equipage is so fit and proper that he would not exchange it for any 



other ; in fact it is so generally liked, that in St. Petersburg it is adopted 
by all'nations, the English excepted, whilst in other points it is the Rus- 
sians who adopt foreign modes. 

The coachman, therefore, and certainly not to his disadvantage, 
clothes himself in the old national dreas. A fine blue cloth caftan, 
fastened under the left arm with three silver buttons, and girded round 
his middle by a coloured silk sash, invests his upper man strait and 
tightly, leaving the handsome tlu-oat bare, and falling in long, rich folds 
over the lower Hmbs. On his head he wears a high four-cornered cap, 
covered with some costly fur, and a handsome bushy beard falls like a 
rich bordering of fur over liis breast. The carriage of the man is worthy 
of his picturesque costume ; both he and his horses seem to be conscious 
that they are admired. The postilions, clad like the coachman, are 
pretty boys, from twelve to fourteen years of age. This is a great 
point ; long lads of sixteen or eighteen on the leaders would offend every 
Russian eye. As no person of rank, in the majority of the Russian cities, 
ever drives with less than four horses ; as not only the master of the family, 
but the mistress also has a coach-and-four for her own use, while in some 
there is another carriage for the children ; the number of hoi-ses and 
drivers in many private establishments may be easily imagined ; their studs 
often emulate those of princes. 

The most celebrated Russian coachman, who, although a common 
bearded Russ, is become almost an historical personage, was Iha, the 
coachman of the Emperor Alexander. He served the emperor, faithful 
as liis shadow, for thirty years, and was much in favour mth him from his 
experience and originality of character. He accompanied the czar in 
all his travels, and is therefore a well known person, not only at all the 
hundred thousand post stations of the Russian dominions, but throughout 
the capitals of Em-ope. He adhered to his master even in death, and 
slept, during the whole joiu-ney, wrapt in his furs, under the hearse 
that brought the imperial coi-pse from Taganrog to St. Petersburg. 
As during the life time of Alexander, Ilia was often alone with^ him, 
the words spoken from the box into the carnage were not without 
weight, and many a courtier tried, with very little reserve, to gain the 
favour of the witty coachman. He now lives, rewarded with the rank of a 
counsellor of state, in a palace in St. Petersbm-g, where he gives enter- 
tainments to liis friends and kindi'ed, and relates anecdotes of the deceased 
emperor. 

In the kitchen department— no insignificant one any where, but least 
of all in Russia, all is French, or Frenchified. The majority of the Rus- 
sian nobles are quite happy when they can find a Frenchman who, for some 
2000 or 3000 rubles yearly, will have the goodness to direct their kitchens, 
and to whose humours and caprices they are willing m return to accommo- 
date themselves. " We poor fellows," said a Russian cook to me once, 
"if we do not do every thmg properly it's vpolizie (to the police) directly, 
or v'Slibir (to Siberia), palki nada (stripes are wanted here) ! But if a 
French cook is found fault with for spoiling a dish, he answers, "No one 
need mind eating that. It is not nice perhaps, but it is wholesome." 

These cooks, who are very great gentlemen, and drive to market in 
elegant equipages, make out most incredible bills. In some houses the 
cost of the table amounts to some hundreds of thousands of rubles. 



86 



THE SERVANTS OF ST. PETERSBURG. 



Many people have found it advisable to make an arrangement with the 
cook to furnish the dinner at so much a head. Ten rubles is an average 
sum. On extraordinary occasions it will be fifty, a hundred, and even 
more. The hospitahty maintained in some of the houses, where every 
day a number of strangers find their places at the host's table, is not 
therefore quite so cheap as some travellers represent it. 

St. Petersburg is the high school for all the cooks of the empire. 
Every noble of the interior has a number of young men, en pension, in 
the kitchens of the gi*eat houses in St. Petersburg, who are to return 
accompUshed cooks ; and a family from the capital removing into the 
interior with the whole corps of Frenchified servants, soon have their 
kitchen swarming with a multitude of candidates striving to acquire 
new and piquant recipes from the initiated. 

Although there is a post-ofiice in St. Petersburg, there are still so many 
commissions to be executed in a great house which do not fall exactly 
within any one's department, that it is thought necessary to keep a "house 
courier" to drive out every morning, noon, and evening, to deliver let- 
ters, parcels, and so forth. The merchants on Vassili Ostroff have a 
similar figurant in their houses to carry out letters and money, whom they 
call " Artelshtshik." lie is generally a long-bearded Russ, and by vir- 
tue of his beard a trustworthy man, for he is often employed to carry hun- 
dreds of thousands, without any uneasiness being felt for their safety. 
When we consider the numbers already mentioned, the servants, and the 
servants' servants, and that many of them are man-ied, and live in the 
house with all their ct ccetera, it will be admitted that a Russian house 
must be tolerably well filled, and swarmuig in every comer. The whole 
of the lower regions is commonly given up to them, where they pack 
themselves as well as they can with bag and baggage, home-made furni- 
ture, and household utensils, not forgetting the pictures of saints, and 
their everlasting lamps. 

Yet it is well known that a Russian nobleman, in spite of his train of 
servants, or perhaps because of his train of servants, is very badly served. As 
no one will do what is " not in his place," a commission has a vast number 
of hands to go through before it is executed. A valet is asked for a glass 
of water, he tells a footman, who calls to a scidlion ; he is found sleeping 
about somewhere, and after a long search after a decanter, inms to the 
spring, and the water comes, perhaps, at last, when his master is no longer 
thirsty. " Sluga ! pasluish!" (Here, servant, here), is called from a door. 
" Sei tshas ! sei tshas ! sei minut !" (Directly, directly, this minute), is an- 
swered from above and below, from staircase and courtyard. The caller 
waits a quarter of an horn-, but no one comes ; for Paul suj)poscs that Ivan 
is gone, and Matwei knows that Vanka heard as well as he. The call is 
repeated. " Sluga pasluishi," and " Sei tshas," is echoed back, but no 
servant comes ; and a hundred times a day a man may be convinced of the 
truth of the Russian proverb, which says, " Sei tshas" means to-morrow 
morning, and " Sei minut" this day week. Yet they fancy there is no 
doing without a retinue of sers^ants. 

" Ah ! you really embaiTass me with your kind visit," said Pi-ince N- — 
to a friend who came unexpectedly to dine with him. " I must apologize 
to you, for you will be very badly attended to. One-half of my servants 
are gone hunting with my son ; I liave sent out some on business myself 



THE SERVANTS OF ST. PETERSBURG. 



if 



and my good mother, who has driven out of town to pay a visit, has taken 
away nearly all the rest." Nevertheless, there were five diligent pair of 
hands to wait on twelve persons. 

It is singular that the male servants should be much more numerous 
than the female. Generally the rooms are swept and the beds made by 
men, and the ladies, in addition to their waiting-maids, have a chamberlain 
who' attends them every where. The waiting damsels are of all nations: 
arch Parisian grisettes ; Swiss maidens pining with home sickness ; Swedes 
from Stockholm come to seek a better fortune, i. e. more money; German 
Amalias, or Matildas, who vmte sentimental verses ; Russian Sofinkas or 
Olgas, very discontented at the number of foreigners they see preferred to 
themselves ; and over all this pot pourri of nationaUty, the same Russian 
sauce is poured. They speak a jargon half Russian, half French, gar- 
nished with many other words from many other languages ; they must 
dress gaily and fashionably to please their mistresses, try to make them- 
selves agreeable, and fall in with the prevailing tone. 

The nurses occupy a remarkable position in Russia, the same or nearly 
so that they do with all the Caucasian nations, among whom the nurse 
remains often for life, the friend and adviser of her foster-child, and 
where a noble or princely house is sure to contain a whole chorus of nm^es, 
as Avell those of the grown up, as of the yoimger children, and of the 
master and mistress of the family. So long as she remains in the house, 
the nurse is always an object of distinguished regard to all her housemates ; 
she is flattered and spoiled on all sides, and as every thing is done to please 
her for the sake of the child, she seldom fails to turn out a very capricious, 
bold, obtrusive, and particularly well-fed person. Intrusted with the 
mother's costliest treasure, the nurse accompanies her lady every where, — to 
church, to the promenade, to the boudoir, and in the carriage. As these 
nurses are peasant- women who have not laid aside the habits of their 
homes, and yet whose places demand a certain richness of dress, the 
national female costume is seen in them in its fullest splendour, as the 
male costume is with the coachmen. The Russian mu-ses are seen on the 
public walks in rich gold brocaded stuffs, and high kakoshnilcs of false and 
real pearls on their head ; the joyous look, the red cheeks of these gaudy 
peacocks, the boldness and assurance of their demeanour, explain at once 
the relation in which they stand. Long after their period of service has 
expired, they receive abundance of presents from the family, whose favour 
is extended also to the foster-children. Something of superstition is 
mingled with this kindness, as in almost every custom of the Russians, for 
they ascribe to the mu-se and her cliildren all manner of mysterious influ- 
ence over the nursUng. 

The Germans resident in Russia relate terrible stories of these Russian 
nurses. Their childlike gaiety and humoxn: fit them peculiarly for sport 
and merriment with children ; but on the other hand, when they get out of 
patience, they have recourse to the most barbarous and inhuman means to 
quiet their noisy little charges. For instance, striking them on the head 
till they are stupified, holding them by the feet with their heads down- 
wards till the blood mounts to the head, and shaking them so violently 
as to throw them into convulsions, besides frightening the elder children 
by dressing themselves up as ghosts. Other tricks so detestable have 
been attributed to them, that they will not bear repetition. A lady who 
had had a Russian nurse told me frightful stories of what she had endured 



88 



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THE SERVANTS OF ST. PETERSBURG. 



89 



I ■■*- 

it 



from her, and seemed to think it Httle short of a miracle, that she had 
©scaped with so much health and imderstanding after such treatment. The 
following anecdote is not the only one of the kind I have heard in St. 
Petersburg. A family of rank came to St. Petersburg from Moscow on 
business. Going one day to pay a visit in the city, they left their daughter, 
a child five years of age, at home with her nurse. On their return in the 
evening the naif-intoxicated nm'se fell at their feet shedding a torrent of 
tears, and exclaiming, " Pumiluitye, vuinovat, vuinovat" (Have compassion 
on me, I am guilty, 1 am guilty) ! and told them how she had left the 
child a few minutes alone, and that when she came back it was no- 
where to be found, it had been stolen. The despairing parents made every 
possible search but in vain, and were at length compelled to return child- 
less to Moscow. The nurse appeared so wretched that she was forgiven. 
About three years afterwards the father came again to St. Petei'sburg, and 
wliile passing one day through the streets, thinking of his lost Anninka, 
he heard a feeble voice crying out, " Papinka, papinka" (Papa, papa)! 
He turned and saw his little daughter muffled in rags, miserable and sickly, 
sitting in a cart drawn by a filthy beggar-woman. " Woman, where did 
you get that child ?" cried he, seizing her and snatching the child who 
simk sobbing and half-naked in his arms. On examination, it appeared 
that the beggar had bought the poor little creature from the nurse for 
20 rubles, and reduced her to the state in which she was found, purposely 
to excite compassion. Begging is no longer permitted by the police, and 
such things are now more likely to happen in London or Paris than in 
St. Petersburg, 

In many wealthy families a good music master is often retained, and in 
some, particularly in the provinces, a private 'jand. In fact, it is easy 
enough for ? nobleman to get one together, his peasants are always at 
hand, and leani as easily to play on the violin as to clean his boots. It is 
only necessary to have a German musician in the house, which is indeed 
somewhat expensive, and to let him tutor them for a time, till a band is 
formed, and then at a ball, or any such occasion, the lord has only to 
muster the stove-heaters and superfluous table-deckers to have a very 
tolerable orchestra. Here and there, where the taste is more refined, three 
or four well-paid German musicians will be found on the establishment ; 
but this is rare, and so are the private horn-bands, which foreigners on 
their first arrival at St. Petersburg seem to expect to hear from every 
house. 

On some of the estates schools have been established, where a select 
nvunber of peasant-youths are taught reading, writing, &c., in order to 
render them serviceable afterwards, as gardeners and bailiffs, or in St. 
Petersbm'g as grooms of the chamber and secretaries. These youths 
bring with them the capacity for further improvement. Many of them 
acquire the arts of reading and writing, they themselves scarcely know 
how, and even the little postilions may often be seen in a comer of the 
stables diligently forming the letters with their frozen fingers. Notliing 
can excite the sxuprise of a stranger, more than the extraordinary passion 
for reading now prevalent among servants in Russia. The greater part of 
the antechambers of the nobles, where there are always a number of ser- 
vants assembled, are regular reading-rooms ; those who are not playing at 
draughts, the favourite game, are generally reading. It is no rare tiling 
to see six or eight in different comers thus engaged ; and if their occupa- 



tion strikes a foreigner, who expects nothing but laziness and barbarism, 
with admiration, as indicative of advancing civilization, his admiration will 
rise to astonishment if he give himself the trouble of inquiring into the na- 
ture of their studies. A Translation of Bourrienne's Memoires, Karamsin's 
History of Russia, the Fables of Kruiloff, the Novels of Prince Odo- 
ievsky, the Tales of Baron Brambares, Bantysh Kamensky's History of 
Lesser Russia, Polevoy's Outlines of the History of the World, a trans- 
lation of the iEneid, and others of the same kind, are the works he will 
find. I know not whether our domestics have yet risen to Luden's His- 
tory of the Germans, or Raumer's Hohenstaufen ? 

It is worthy of remark, that the young hterature of Russia, which has 
already produced much that is excellent, as yet entirely unknown to us, 
has liitherto thrown off none of a base and spurious kind. That with the 
good much that is worthless exists, is undeniable, particularly in the 
scientific branches, where all is good for nothing ; but as it was calcu- 
lated for the educated classes, it contains nothing vulgar, insipid, or 
common. The servants, and such of the lower classes as are more and 
more becoming readers, are compelled to satisfy their Uteraiy appetite 
with wholesome food. Their taste will refine itself in consequence, and 
enough has already been written in Russia to keep a zealous reader in 
breath. Circulating hbraries abound in St. Petersburg. In the provinces, 
of course, it is more difficult to obtain books, and there, many really 
touching examples of the literary yearnings of the people are related. 
I knew an old chamberiain, who in his leisure hours had learned Krui- 
lofT's Fables by heart, and had read Karamsin's History of Russia, six 
times through, because he could get no other books. All that is written 
about Napoleon among us, is translated directly into Russian, and read 
by all classes, in the antechambers particularly, with uncommon ardour. 



CHAPTER XL 



THE MONUMENTS 



It is remarkable that neither Vienna, nor Berlin, nor London, nor Pans, 
cities which for centuries have been the centres of a stiiring national hfe, 
and the theatres of many extraordinary events, operating powerfiilly on 
the humanity of the middle ages as on our own, can vie with young un- 
historical St. Petersburg in the number of their historical monmnents. 
The most numerous, and in some measure the grandest, monuments of 
modem times, at least according to the plan laid do^^'n for their execution, 
have been erected in St. Petersburg. 

Rocks, columns, obelisks, statues, triumphal arches, have been brought 
within her ffates, and such magnificent positions and accessories appointed, 
as have seldom fallen to the lot of monuments. No pams or expense is 
spared on the fit arrangement of those memorials, the best artists have 



90 



THE MONUMENTS. 



been consulted on the plans, drawing, and placing of them. Nevertheless, 
scarcely one has escaped some arch-blunder, which strikes every spectator 
at once, and yet escaped the notice of the many founders and rearers who 
reflected so long and so deeply about the matter. 

The largest and most interesting monuments of St. Petersburg, are tlie 
Alexander Pillar, Peter's Rock, the Rumanzoff Obelisk, the statues of 
Kutusoff, Barclay de Tolly, and SuvarofF, the equestrian statue of Peter 
the Great, and the Triumphal Arch.* 

When we examine the list of Russian monuments, it is not a little 
strikino-, that far more have been raised to • distinguished subjects than to 
the emperors themselves. Contrary to the practice of the Roman empe- 
rors, and of so many ancient and modem princes, the Russian emperors 
have shown a great disinclination to the erection of monuments in their 
own honour during their lifetime, and keeping themselves in the back- 
ground, they have put their subjects foi-ward. The only monarch who has yet 
been honoured with statues is Peter the Great. Even the proud and vain 
Catherine has no memorial to her honour, either in the capital or else- 
where. The greater part of the Russian monuments refer to the three 
chief epochs of their history ; to the period of the elevation of the Roma- 
noffs and the shaking off the Polish yoke ; (to them the memonals of 
Mnin, Posharski, and some others, are devoted ;) to the time of Peter the 
Great, and the reduction of the Swedish power; and to the time of the 
struggle with the French Revolution and Napoleon, or rather against the 
whole of Western Europe, to which belong the Pyramids of Boradino, 
the Goddess of Victory, at Riga, the Alexander Column, and the statues of 
a number of generals. 

So much has been written in newspapers and books of travels of the 
Rock of Peter and Alexander's Pillar, that in spite of their size they 
might be literally buried under the load of praise and blame already 
bestowed, yet every one finds something new in them to laud or find fault 
with. Among trifling objections, the first to be made is to the inscription, 
" Petro Primo, Catherina Secunda," or in Russian, equally short, '' Petramu 
Pervormt, Catherina Vtovaya'' It is chiselled on the two long sides of 
the rock. To us, it seemed, decidedly, the proper place would have been in 
front, for every thing should have its inscription conspicuously on its fore- 
head. We do not indicate the intent of a building on the wmgs, but as a 
frontispiece over the chief entrance. Enormous is the vanity displayed in 
this inscription. The allusion contained in the opposition of " the first" 
and " the second" is easily comprehended, when we bear in mind that 
Catherine always looked on herself as the finisher of what Peter had 
begun. By tliis inscription, she not only places herself on a level with 
Peter, but above him as a judge, a goddess to acknowledge and reward 
merit. But this is easier forgotten than the bad treatment which the 
rock on which the statue stands has experienced. The idea of a rider 
springing up a rock, on both sides of which steep precipices threaten 
destruction, and of representing him at the moment when he has reached 



* The passion for monuments has gained the complete mastery over the Russians 
By searching in tlieir history, a number of remarkable men and events have been 
found which are held worthy of monuments. Witness the Pyramids on the battle- 
field of Boradino, the Column at Pultava, the Goddess of Victory, in Riga, for 1813 
the statues of Prince Posharski and the citizen Minin in Moscow, and several 
monuments in Zarskoye Selo, and some other places. 



THE MONUMENTS. 



91 



the summit, and victoriously contemplates the land beyond, is as poetical 
and grand a one as ever was breathed by a sculptor on his work, and it 
were difficult not to find the parade-stepping horses in our equestrian sta- 
tues of princes, feeble and sleepy, after seeing Peter galloping on his rock. 

The emperor's face is turned towards the Neva, his hand outstretched as if 
he would g^asp land and water, at once ruling and blessing. This idea 
was fine, bold, and amply sufficient ; and it is therefore inconceivable why 
the artist did not rest contented with it, and why to the rock-chmbing he 
has superadded the subduing of a serpent, which the emperor encounters 
on the rock, and which is trodden under his horse's hoof. The great rule 
of art, the unity of idea and action, is sinned against ; and it is almost 
impossible to sympathize at the same moment with the emperor's joy at the 
wide prospect from the surmounted rock, and with his effort in overcoming 
the dragon. St. George, in his fight with the dragon, is wholly employed 
in his work, has his eyes riveted to the devouring monster, and aims with 
his unerring lance at the head ; he has clearly no leisure to enjoy the pro- 
spect from the mountain. Peter's dragon is not threatening, but crawls like 
a slow worm, as if accidentally, over the path, where, accidentally also, the 
liorse sets his foot on him ; or does the artist mean us to understand that 
Peter, like a skilful hoi*seman, causes him so to plant his hoof .'^ Peter 
then does too much if he is blessing in the front and fighting in the 
rear : moreover, the issue of the fight is very uncertain. St. George's 
sharp, bright weapon tlireatens not in vain ; and if he pierce the creature's 
head, it is fixed to the ground for ever. But it is extremely improbable 
that the passing kick from the horse's hoof should put an end to the serpent 
at once. This incident disturbs the effect, but only in some measure ; for 
the artist has felt that the two ideas were not very reconcileable, and has 
therefore voluntarily, or involimtaiily, made the one predominant. The 
servient is so small, and Peter, who, hke Columbus, looking far beyond, 
with head and hand upraised, cries " Land ! land !" or rather, " Water ! 
water !'' on beholding the Neva and the longed-for sea, seems to trouble 
himself so little about the animal, that it may be overlooked, or might be 
filed away to restore the unity. Perhaps the artist placed it here, only 
to obtain, by one of its contortions, a point of support for the horse. The 
animal springs forward quite freely in the air, and rests behind on tliree 
points, the two hind-legs and the tail, wliich apparently only just touches 
the serpent, but is in reality strongly fastened to it ; it is piUar, prop, and 
cramp-iron. 

The bold air-borne position of the whole statue rendered necessary some 
particular precautions to preserve the centre of gra\aty. The thickness of 
the bronze in front is therefore very trifling, only a few lines, but behind 
it increases to several inches : 10,000 pounds weight of iron is likewise 
cast m the liind-quarters and tail of the horse — a tolerable aplomb ! The 
spring of the horse, the carriage of the rider, his well-chosen old Russian 
costume, are above all blame. But the treatment the rocky pedestal has 
undergone is terrible ; and here the artist's proceeding is quite incompre- 
hensible. This wonderfully fine block, which may have been torn by the 
Deluge from the Swedish mountains, was found m the morass of St. Pe- 
tersburg in one piece, 45 feet long, 30 high, and 2o in width. Seldom 
have the Titans been so obliging as to loosen so magnificent a mass from 
its primeval rock, and deposit it in the neighbourhood of an imperial city. 
The hint was only half understood. Vulcan himself had sent it away, 



92 



THE MONUMENTS. 



THE MONUMENTS. 



93 



i 



Neptune bore it hither on his crystal waves, and Jupiter wrought it with 
his hghtning, — its marks were yet apparent on the surface. As it was, it 
offered the noblest pedestal for a statue of Peter the Great ; they should 
even have hesitated to remove the stains and moss that Flora had planted 
on it. But, far from this observance, the chisel was set to work after the 
lightning. They censured and criticised, and turned and scraped, till the 
rock became so attenuated that the same thing occurred as befel the child 
with his scraped Hon, in Gellert's fable — it broke in two. The two pieces 
were patched together, and it now looks as unnatural as the imitation rocks 
we see upon the stage. Some work may have been necessary on the 
brow of the stone to make a footing for the horse ; but it is certain it was 
not done with due precaution, and the value of the block is injured three- 
fold by depriving it of a third of its size. It is now only 14 feet high, 20 
broad, and 35 feet long. What is more remarkable is, that they did not 
begin to break it till after they had, with mispeakable labour, brought 
hither the whole mass, and built a ship and a road for the purpose ! 

Peter's statue stands in the centre of the city he created, but not, im- 
fortunately, in the centre of the noble place it adorns. They have hit the 
point better with the Alexander pillai*. Before the chief front of the 
Winter Palace the vast edifice of the Generalty expands its enormous bow, 
to which the strait line of the palace front forms the string. Between the 
bow and the string, at a like distance from either, the stately column rears 
itself. It is the greatest monoUth raised in modem times — above 80 feet 
in height, and, ^vith the angel on its summit, and the cubic block that 
supports it, 1 50 feet. The eye is delighted with the slender form of this 
giant ; it is liighly polished, and reflects the outlines of the surroimding 
buildings in its cylindiical mirror. In any other city its enormous size 
would make a greater impression. Here in St. Petersburg, where the eye 
expands with the vast surrounding spaces, it is seen under a smaller angle 
of vision. The place in which it stands is so vast in its dimensions, the 
houses around are so high and massive, that even tliis giant requires its 
whole hundred and eiglity feet not to disappeai*. But when we approach 
and become aware of its circumference, while its head seems to reach the 
heavens, the impression is strong and overpowering. The best points of 
view are the gateways of the Generalty and the Winter Palace ; from 
them it is contemplated as in a frame, and a point of measurement gained 
for tlie eye by which the height may be estimated. It is incomprehen- 
sible why the crown of the pillar has been made so wide and heavy. It 
extends so far over the shaft that the large angel with the cross is not to 
be seen from beneath, and might as well not be there. To look at it pro- 
perly we must ascend the second story of the Palace, or go the distance of 
a verst on the Admiralty Place to obsene it thence with a telescope. The 
thick-headedness of the pillar injures the effect of the height. This can 
be proved by a little experiment under the arch of the Palace. Place 
yourself so that the arch hides the top of the pillar, and it appears enor- 
mous : step forward, and let the thick head of it come in sight, and it 
looks as if it had fallen on it and was pressing the column down, whereas 
it ought to raise it. The worst of all is, that already an abominable worm 
is gnawing at this beautiful and still so new monolith. It has already 
received a very sad and offensive rent from above towards the middle. 
It may be that the stone was at first badly chosen, or that the cold of 
St Petersburg will not tolerate such monuments of human art. There are 



people in St. Petersburg who hold it for a patriotic duty to deny the 
existence of the rent, which has been artfully filled with a cement of gra- 
nite fragments. But in the sunshine, when the polish of the rent shows 
differently from that of the stone ; or in the winter, when the hoar-frost 
forms in icicles on the cold stone, but not on the warmer cement, the 
wicked line is but too apparent.* 

The idea of this column is, like every thing else in Russia, religio- 
poHtical. It was erected in honour of the Emperor Alexander, and is 
meant to eternalize, with his memory', that of the re-confirmation of the 
political constitution and of the security of religion. The attack of the 
irreligious, unbelieving Napoleon, is considered in Russia, not only as an 
attack on the state, but also as one on the faith. Hence the erection of 
the angel with the cross on the summit. This column, whose capital and 
ornaments on the pedestal were formed from Turkish cannon, tlirows into 
one category all the enemies of Russia, the Turks, the French, &c., and is 
the seaUng, ratification, and immortalization of all the modem victories of 
the Russian eagle. Till the present time this monument is the summit of 
Russian glor}'. God knows what catastrophe will next give occasion to 
surpass those 150 feet. Will the inscription on the next monument nm 
thus ? " The victorious Slavonian nations, united under the Russian 
sceptre, erected this monument ingratitude for the conquest of the German 
races whose century of injustice has been at last atoned for, the dominions 
^Tested from the Slavonians having been again incorporated with the Sla- 
vonian empire." 

Some people maintain that the Russian eagle has long brooded over the 
project of such an inscription, and that the embryo Is already formed in the 
egg. Only the date of the year is yet wanting. The memorial in the 
worst taste is that to Field-marshal Romanzoff, for his victories over the 
Tiu-ks, with the Inscription " Romantzowa pobaedam" (To the victories of 
Romanzoff). The Russian language is capable of the conciseness of the 
Latin. This monument is composed of half-a-dozen different-coloiu-ed 
stones, and is ornamented with patches of metal besides. The obelisk 
itself Is of black granite. It stands in a socket of red marble, whose base 
is of another colour, in addition to which there are several strata of white 
marble ; and the whole bears on Its extreme point a golden ball, with an 
eagle hovering over it. In vain we ask what harmony the artist could 
find in all these various colours and materials. Fortunately this artlstical 
abortion will not last long. There are already several rents and splits in 
it, and so many pieces broken from all comers, that it looks as if it had 
stood for centuries. It will soon sink under its own weight. The eight 
Egyptian Sphinxes, which lie not far from this monument before the 
Academy of Art, seem to look derldingly on the unimposing obelisk. 
In defiance of the thousand years of warlike tumult — In defiance of the 
countless buming suns, of the endless series of days and nights that have 
passed over their heads— they look as youthful as if newly bom ; their 
skin as smooth and polished as when they came from the chisel. 

If ever a Russian commander desened a monument it was Suvaroff, 
who, as is well knowoi, was a man of genius and an original, but who was 
also, what is not so well known, a wit and a good-hearted man. He has 
got the feeblest and worst of all. Certainly if Suvaroff could see his 

♦ See note at page 8. 



I 



94 



THE MONUI^IENTS. 



THE ARSENALS. 



95 



ovm statue he would make many an epigram upon it. It is a bronze 
statue, on foot, wielding a sword in the right-hand and holding a shield in 
the left, in defence over a few cro>vns — those of the Pope, Naples, and 
Sardinia. The crowns lie at his feet, on the pedestal of the statue. The 
position of the figure is that of a fencing-master, who has just quietly 
drawn, and is about to show his pupil a thrust. The costume is Roman, 
and the whole so small that it is quite lost on the field of Mars, where it 
stands. The daily drumming and clash of arms that Suvaroff must listen 
to here are the only things about the place that can be pleasing to him. 

What have people elsewhere, that St. Petersburg should not have ? Egypt 
had its obelisks. St. Petersburg has hers also. Paris and Rome are 
adorned with columns and triumphant arches ; so is St. Petersburg ; there 
are two triumphant arches there already. They span the two roads which 
connect the city with her most important territories ; the one, the road 
to Riga, leading to the West of Europe, the other, the Moscow road, 
leading to the heart of the empire. The former was raised by the city 
in honoiu' of the Emperor Alexander when he returned in triumph from 
Paris, the latter was built by the Emperor Nicholas. The first is called 
" Triumphalnaya Vorota," or, by the people who know nothing about tri- 
umphs, " Triugolnaya" (The three-angled gate). It is built after the Roman 
model, but overladen with inscriptions and a multitude of statues in 
niches, of old Russian warriors. On the platform of the gate the goddess 
of victory, in a car drawn by four horses, gallops to meet the advancing 
emperor, and bestow on him a laurel crown. On the return of the em- 
peror, it was only in plaster and wood, and was afterwards executed in stone 
and metal. The car has really but four horses, and not five, like the 
quadriga of Mars on the Hotel de I'Etat Major. They say that four 
horses would not have sufficiently filled the space, and therefore a fifth 
was added, to give greater size and effect to the mass. 

Thus, every fine monument in St. Petersburg, with peculiar beauties, has 
also pecuhar faults. One of its mythological groups has, contrary to every 
rule of art, a horse too much ; the second is faulty in design, the third is 
broken up and spoiled in the execution, the fourth has a huge split, and 
another in scarcely the fortieth year of its existence threatens to become 
a heap of ruins and rubbish. What will remain for posterity ? These 
are our modem cities ! In the time of lier glory, Rome boasted other mo- 
numents than these I Her stately ruins prove it after a lapse of two 
thousand years. 



CHAPTER XII. 



THE ARSENALS 



At no time are the streets of St. Petersburg wantirg in soldiers and 
military processions ; but most iminterruptedly and diligently is the rush 
and roll of drums and flag, and the steady tramp of the military in the 
streets of that part of the city called by the Rassians Liteinaya, which 
the troops must pass through on entering the city from the Viborg side, 



I 

Mi 



over Sunday bridge, and which moreover contains a number of military in- 
stitutions ; the barracks and stables for the artillery, and the two arsenals, 
the new, and the old. The old arsenal, an enormous building, was 
erected by Count Orloff at his own cost, and presented to the Empress 
Catherine.* The new one was buUt by the Emperor Alexander, in a very 
magnificent style. Both are filled with glittering weapons, trophies, old 
military engines, and antiquities of importance in Russian history. A 
short account of them will not be uninteresting to the reader, particularly as 
this subject has been much neglected in the different works on St. Peters- 
burg, which is the more remai'kable as every thing here is open to every 
body. 

The endless ranges of apartments in both arsenals are adorned with 
coimtless numbers of trophies formed of different weapons, innumerable 
flags, and instruments of murder, elegantly arranged into garlands, tapes- 
tries, and chamber arabesques, as if they were flowers and fruit, children 
of Pomona and Flora, and not the work of the Cyclops, the implements 
of Mars and the Furies. Man loves to sport poetically with the serious. 
Among all nations the military dress is variegated, gay, glittering, and 
adorned. While our citizens go about their peaceful emplo^Tnents in sad- 
coloured garments, our warriors go to battle shining in all the colours of 
the rainbow. One would think black were a more fitting colour, the better 
to remind them of the melancholy nature of their trade ; to diminish 
their thirst for slaughter, to which the outward pomp of their business 
seems almost to invite. Their weapons should not be displayed in ele- 
gant ornamental compositions in arsenals, but kept piled up in the vaults 
of their churches ; perhaps wars would then be less frequent, and arms not 
be taken up lightly, but only in the name of God and our native land. 

Among the trophies, there stands in one of the halls in the new arsenal 
a large Russian eagle, whose neck, body, and legs are composed of gun- 
fhnts ; the pinions of swords ; every feather on the breast and belly is a 
dagger ; every tail feather a yataghan ; the eyes, the muzzles of two 
black pistols ; the gullet, the bore of a cannon ; a terrible " noli me tan- 
gere,'' a ])roper symbol of the Russian state, which has soared to its pre- 
sent height on the pinions of swords and bayonets. Woe to those who 
meet the lightning of that eagle's eyes, or the thunder of that temble 
throat! Woe to those who rumple his sharp pinions, and whom his 
sabre claws shall tear. In another hall is a statue of Catherine in white 
marble, throned in a royal chair, and surrounded by all the emblems of 
imperial power. The statue was erected by Orloff in her lifetime, and 
presented with the building. Her horse, a white one stuffed, stands near 
her ; it should rather have been copied in marble ; such a bridled and saddled 
ghost makes too unmajestic a figure here. The saddle is not a lady's 
side-saddle, but an ordinary man's saddle ; Catherine must therefore have 
sat on horseback like one* of her generals. 

Some of the historical souvenirs and antiquities are highly interesting ; 

* Such patriotic gifts are not rare among the wealthy subjects of the Eussian era^ 

perors. We often hear, Count has given a niilUon to raise a corps of cadets ; 

that Prince has built a barrack at his own expense ; or that the merchant 

has given to some public library a himdred thousand rubles. In the year 1812, 
magnificent offerings of this kind were made ; but even in times of peace, not only 
legacies are left to the state, but, what is more remarkable, donations inter vivos^ are 
made. 



i 



96 



THE ARSENALS. 



for example, the standards of the Strelitz, huge things made of pieces of 
silk sewed together, and adorned \vith many highly original pictures cha- 
racteristic of that fanatical Russian praetorian band, who may be justly 
called the Janizaries of Christianity. They are greatly deserving of the 
attention of historians, although, as far as I know, they have not yet been 
noticed by any. In the middle of the flag sits God the Father, holding 
the last judgment ; over his head is the azure sky of Paradise, beneath 
him blaze the flames of the infernal gulf ; at his right hand stand the just, 
that is, a chorus of Russian priests, a division of Strelitzes, and a number 
of bearded Russians ; to liis left the mibelievers and the wicked, tliat is, 
a tribe of Jews, Turks, and Tartars, negroes, and another crowd in the 
dresses of Nyemtzi, or German West Europeans. Under each group the 
national name is inscribed ; and so, also, by those tormented in the flames 
of hell. " A Turban, a German, a Miser, a Murderer," «&c. Many 
angels, armed with iron rods, are busied in delivering the rest of the un- 
believers, the shrieking Jews, Mahomedans, and other infidels, to the 
custody of the devils. Such unnoticed pictures as these often speak more 
plainly than any thing else what is passing in the secret soul. Near the 
flags lie a number of the accoutrements of the StreUtzes, and the images 
of their patron saints ; each saint has its own little case, of which a whole 
row, listened to straps, were worn on the breast, in a fashion similar to 
the Circassians. Some Russian cannon of the period are also placed liere ; 
they are very large, cast in iron, and ornamented with silver and gold. 

To every emperor and empress since Peter the Great a separate apart- 
ment is devoted, containing the clothes, weapons, and utensils belonging 
to them, with the instruments of war in use at that time, uniforms, &c. &c. 
The uniforms of distinguished generals, with all their orders, crosses, and 
ribbons, are here deposited in glass cases ; many thousand ells of histori- 
cally interesting ribbons figure among them. With the help of this ca- 
binet a very good history of the Russian army might be composed. We 
may here learn that the Semeonoff and Preobrashanski regiments of 
the guards, the most important and celebrated legions, the core of the 
Russian pretorian bands, during their century of existence have changed 
their uniform five-and-twenty times ; and that it does not now in the least 
resemble what it was a hundred years ago. The changes of the Russian 
soldier from white to black, from red to green, from long to short, and 
from wide to narrow, are more manifold than those from caterpillar to 
chrysalis — from chrysalis to butterfly. In the chamber of Alexander there 
are not less than sixty orders that he wore : the broad ribbon of the order of 
St. George, however, is not among them ; the emperor would not accept it, 
although it was decreed him several times by the chapter of the order and 
the senate. This order is only given for a great battle won, for the pre- 
servation of the empire, or the restoration of peace by a series of military 
exploits ; and the emperor, who could not ascribe one of these deeds to 
himself personally, refused the honour, in order to maintain the credit of 
the order and its laws. 

Ever since Peter the Great, the Russian emperors have volmitarily sub- 
jected themselves to their own laws and ordinances, and thereby given 
their subjects a great example. The pike which Peter carried as a vo- 
lunteer in his own armj% the uniforms he wore as sergeant, captain, and 
colonel, the leathern shirt he wore as a carpenter, all of which are pre- 
seiTed in the arsenal, constantly warn his successors to follow liis example. 



THE ARSENALS. 



97 



111 Peter's apartment there is still kept the cabriolet he made use of to 
measure the roads ; the number of revolutions made by the wheels are 
shown by the machinery contained in the box behind. On the lid of this 
box is a curious old picture representing Peter's method of travelling. It 
is a portrait of the cabriolet itself, drawn by one horse, and driven by 
Peter. Beliind him arc newly-built houses, and gardens laid out ; before 
him a forest and a wilderness, to the annihilation of which he is boldly 
proceeding : beliind him the heavens are serene, before him the clouds are 
heaped up like rocks. As this picture was probably designed by Peter 
himself, it shows what he thought of liimself. 

In remarkable contrast with the little modest cabriolet of the road- 
making and measm-ing emperor is the great triumphant car, with its flags 
and kettle-drums, which Peter the Second drove before the band of his 
guards, at the time when the ladies wore hoop -petticoats and the gen- 
tlemen long pemwigs. Paul's rocking-horse; Peter the Tliird's IIol- 
stein cuirassiers, who were so great a cause of vexation to the native 
Russians ; Senka Rasin's state chair of ebony, garnished mth rude pistols 
instead of lace ; the unifonn of General Miloradovitsh,* in wliich the hole 
made by the bullet that pierced his heart in the revolt of the 14th of 
December, is yet to be seen — all fm-nish emplojTnent for the imagination 
of the historian. 

In this collection, the accoutrements of neighbouring states have not 
been neglected ; even the equipments of the Japanese and Chinese may here 
be studied. The cuirasses and coats of mail of the Japanese guards are 
made of tortoiseshell, which cover the whole body, and are put together 
in small scales : the face is concealed in a black mask representing an 
open-mouthed di-agon. The Chinese soldier is clothed from head to foot 
in thickly- wadded cotton : if he cannot move about much in battle he must 
be,^ at all events, in some measm'e protected against arrows and cudgels. 
Grimacing masks are also in use among them. The timid have every 
where a great wish to infuse into others, by means of disguises, that 
terror which they cannot inspire by their owti courage. The Chinese 
weapons appear to have the same aim : among them is a halberd, of which 
the edge of the axe is nearly six feet long, an instrument of murder which 
would require a free space of ten feet diameter for every soldier to w ield 
properly ; it seems destined for the destruction of giants, but a Roman 
soldier with his short sword would have been quite safe from them. 
Countless as are the uniforms, there is scarcely one to which the Russians 
have not once been opposed, the Japanese not excepted — and scarcely one 
from which they have not torn some trophy of victory. 

Those in the arsenals of St. Petersburg are splendid silver sliields of 
Tm-kish leaders ; Polish, Prussian, French, and Persian flags ; and at least 
a thousand ells of silk in Turkish standards, besides a whole heap of crescents 
taken from the mosques. In one room v/e have an opportunity of admiring 
the singular forms of keys among various nations belonging to Persian, 
Grusinian, and Turkish fortresses stormed by the Russians. By every 
bunch of keys is a view of the city that surrendered them. 

A cannon-foundry is annexed to the new arsenal, where a powerful 



^ ♦ Tlie command of the emperor to deposit the unifonn of a general or commander 
in a public plaee, the arsenals of St. Petersburg or Moscow, or in any church is a 
peculiar distinction which has only fallen to the lot of a few patriots. * 

H 



98 



TIIE ARSENALS. 



THE ARSENALS. 



99 



steam-engine is at work. The borers are held finn, and the heavy metal 
pieces of ordnance are made to turn on them by steam-engine ; more force 
is thus given to the thrust by their own weight than the lighter borer 
could impart. I should like to see the man who has now and then cast a 
glance on the dial-plate of time, and could walk among these fire vomiters 
without emotion. Truly, in the schools, in the workshoivs, they are labour- 
ing also at the grandeur of the empire : the merchant in his speculations, 
and the mechanic improving in his manipulations, are toiling indirectly to 
increase its power and extent ; but the cannon-founder stands in more 
immediate reference to future battle, and all his work betrays too evidently 
his hostile purpose. Every touchhole that he bores, every gim's mouth 
that he polishes, excites, in a warlike and growmg state hke Russia, hope 
fear, compassion, and the lust of battle. 

From this foundry, the marine as well as the land artillery is supplied ; 
we saw here guns to carry 1 20 pound balls. God give these monsters full 
draughts from Ocean's beakers and sink them to his lowest depths, where, 
oblivious of their fires, they may become the Hfe-bowls of the shark, and a 
safe dwelling and deposit for the oyster and its brood ! Such must, in 
fact, be the destiny of many. The workman knows not whether he toils 
at a fire-vomitcr or a water-drinker — at a giver of death or a protector of 
life — at a hurler of thunder or a house for a mute fish.^ 

When the cannon are cast, bored, and finished, amid the songs of the 
workmen —a Russian workman is always shiging, whether in the service 
of Ceres or of Mars — they are brought to the place of trial, where they 
are thoroughly examined by the engineers and masters of the works, till at 
last the master sets his stamp upon them and baptizes tliem. The heavy 
birth is accomplished. " Go on thy bloody path, thou giant child, and let 
thy first stammering bo in thmider ! Scare the enemy from the paternal 
fields ! Be thy country's truest friend and turn thy forehead to the foe, 
that her temples may stand, her gardens bloom, and her children flourish 

in peace!" 

The finished cannon are piled up in the spacious inner courts of the 
arsenal. We saw as many here, ready to the last nail, with rammer, match, 
and sponge, as would have sufficed to give the spectacle of the battle of 
Leipsle over again. We counted 800 in one place, as yet all free from 
crime and blood ; but they bear evil in their hearts, and but await the wave 
of one mighty hand to begin, Avith the aid of a thousand willing ones, their 
destructive flight. 

The veil that hangs over Europe's future is impenetrable, and the West 
looks with terror for the moment when it shall be raised. Where will be 
the theatre — what the parts that will be played by those actors, now ready 
painted and dressed ? Whose is the burning city — whose the host at which 
they are to aim? To whom will Victory give the palm? Will they 
enter Vienna, or Berhn, or Paris ? Tiiumphant, to threaten yet fm-ther, 
or captive and fettered, as silent trophies to adorn their public buildings ? 

The courts of the arsenals are filled with balls, the doors and passages 
adorned with them in pyramids. The}r are black, and no prophetic or fate- 
proclaiming spirit hand has yet inscribed upon them " The — of No- 
vember, 18 — , to appear in the market-places ofOlmiitz;" or "in the 
spring of 18 — , with the first swallows, in Constantinople ;" or " to awaken 
up the English sailors at Whitsuntide ;" or " to greet the Parisians on 
New Yeai-'s Eve ;*' or " in 19 — , to bring the rebellious Swedes to sub- 



mission ;*' or " in 1910, to make the Chinese pliant." In fact, so large a 
future lies before the Russian cannon-balls, their destiny is so adventinrous, 
that fancy is tamed when she ponders on all the possible events in their 
existence, and on all the pens and printing-presses to which the description 
of their exploits may give employment. 



CHAPTER XIII. 



THE IMPERIAL PALACES. 



When the Emperor Paid began to be afraid of his subjects, he in- 
trenched himself behind the strong walls of the Michailow Samok (fort). 
He pulled down the old simimer palace* on the Fontanka, and built in its 
stead one of granite, smTOunded by walls and ditches, and bristhng with 
cannon, and dedicated it to the archangel Michael according to Russian 
custom, which dedicates to protecting saints and angels not only churches, 
but fortresses, castles, and other buildings. The castle has a more gloomy 
exterior than the other palaces of St. Petersburg, and an extraordinary 
style of architecture. It is an immense, high, strong, massive square, 
whose four facades all differ the one from the other. The ditches are 
again partly filled up, and laid out in gardens, but the main entrance is 
still reached over several drawbridges, hke a knightly castle in the middle 
ages. In the square before the chief gate stands a monument, insignificant 
enough as a work of art, which Paul erected to Peter the Great with the 
inscription, " Prodiidu Pravnuk" (the grandson to the grandfather). Over 
the principal door, which is over-loaded with architectiu-al ornaments, is 
inscribed in golden letters a passage from the Bible in the old Slavonian 
language. " On thy house, will the blessing of the Lord rest for ever- 
more." This prophecy was badly fulfilled, for the emperor had only inha- 
bited the house three months when he met his death from a liand that his 
cannon could not protect him against. 

The palace was built with extraordinary rapidity, five thousand men 
were employed on it daily till its completion. To dry the walls more 
quickly, large iron plates were made red-hot, and fastened to the walls for 
a time. Nevertheless, the masses of stone and hme were not to be dried 
so rapidly, and very soon after the death of the emperor the palace was 
abandoned as quite uninhabitable. Although it has been completely re- 
paired it has never been dwelt in since, but applied to other purposes. The 
expense of the building was not less than 18,000,000 rubles. By taking 
sufficient time to it, it might easily have been done for six milUons. The 
halls and spaces of the castle are large and labyrinth-hke. A splendid 
marble stone staii*case leads to the first story, and the vestibules and cor- 



♦ In opposition to this old summer palace, the usual residence of the Emperor is 
called the Winter Palace, which name, since the disappearance of the " Summer 
Falace," 13 meaningless. 

h2 



100 



THE IMPERIAL PALACES. 



ridors are paved \vltli beautiful kinds of marble. The floorings of the 
saloons were taken from the Tauride palace, because the new ones could not 
be waited for. They have since been restored to their old places. The 
rooms where Paul was nuudered are sealed and walled up. The Russians 
generally do this with the room In which their parents die. They have a 
certain dread of them and never enter them wilhngly. The Emperor 
Alexander never entered them. The present emperor, who dreaded 
neither the cholera in Moscow, nor revolt in St. Petersburg, nor the dagger 
in Warsaw, but shows a bold countenance every where, has viewed them 
several times. These rooms, easily recognizable from without by their 
darkened and dusty windows, are on the second story. The apartments of 
the beautiful Lapuchin are directly mider, on the first floor. They are now 
inhabited by the keeper of the castle. The stairs which led down from 
them are broken away. During the reign of Alexander, the castle fell so 
much into decay, that when Nicholas caused it to be restored, it cost 
62,000 rubles merely to remove the dirt and rubbish. The painted 
ceilings have considerable interest. In one is represented the revival of 
the order of Malta. Ruthenia, a beautiful virgin, with the features of 
Paid, is seated on a mountain. Near her, the mighty eagle. Fame 
fl^ang from the south in terror announces the injustice done her in the 
Meditcn'anean, and entreats the mighty eagle to shelter her under his 
wing. In the distance is seen the island threatened by the waves and the 
hostile fleets. In another hall all the gods of Greece are assembled, whose 
various physiognomies are those of persons of the court at that time. The 
architect whose purse profited considerably by the building of the castle, 
appears among them as a flying IMercur)^ When Paul, who was a ready 
punster, and who knew very well that all the money he paid was not 
changed into stone and wood, caused the different faces to be pointed out 
to him, he recognised the face of the Mercury directly, and said laughing 
to his courtiers, *' Ah ! voila I'architecte, qui vole." 

The old Michailoff palace is now the abode of the school of engineers. 
One hundred and fifty young persons here receive their mathematical 
and physical education. Its gardens are filled with blooming young 
cadets, who play and exercise there ; and the fonner audience ana ban- 
queting-rooms are partly used as school, examination, sleeping, and eat- 
ing-rooms, for the pupils, and partly to hold collections of various objects 
of a very attractive kind, of the highest interest for Russian engineering, 
and the science of fortification. It is wonderful what progress they have 
already made in this branch. 

Russia, with reference to its military fortifications, is divided into ten 
circles. To the objects relating to the fortification of each circle, a sepa- 
rate hall is devoted. In large presses, in the halls, are kept all the plans, 
general and special, of already existing or projected fortresses. Each 
fortress has its own press for the materiel^ in which are specimens of the 
bricks, kinds of earth, and the different rocks which lie in the neighbour- 
hood, and of which the fortresses are, or are to be, constructed. Lastly, 
on large stands in the middle of the halls, are to be seen all the fortified 
places in Russia, modelled in clay and w^ood, and with such exactness, that 
not the slightest elevation, or sinking of the ground, not a tree, or a house 
is forgotten. In this manner are presented, among others, the most 
striking pictures of Kieff*, Reval, and Riga. It is worthy of remark, that 
among them is a complete representation of all the castles of the Darda- 



TIIE IMPERIAL PALACES. 



lOI 



nelles with their bastions and towers, and the most minute detads of aU 
the little creeks of the Hellespont, and the neighbouring heights and rocks. 
I3v means of these models, the whole plan of attack on the Dardaneles could 
be directed from St. Petersburg. It is a question whether the Enghsh have 
had a Hke foresight, and possess a similar picture in detad. The mmghng ot 
the castles of the Dardanelles with those abeady garrisoned by Russian 
troops, indicates that the Russians already look upon them as then- owti, 
and keeps warm the memory of Alexander's saying, " II faut avoir les 
clefs de notre maison dans la poche.'' 

In one of the rooms is an extraordinary quantity of ukases and military 
ordinances, having reference to the erection of defences. They are signed, 
and many of them corrected, by the different emperors and empresses with 
their oym hands. Catherine, in particular, has made many connections with 
a red-lead pencil ; and the present emperor always makes with his ovm hand, 
liis amendments, alterations, annotations, and additions to his laws, decrees, 
and sentences. I saw here a hundred repetitions of those three important 
words, " Buit po sermr (Be it so), which are amiexed to every ukase. 
Catherine's handwriting is bad ; but the signature is never humed ; on 
the contrary, she seems to have taken trouble in painting eveiy one ot 
the Russian letters. All the long letters have a little flourish under them, 
which are made with a trembling hand : some are qmte awry, nor are aU 
the letters on a line. The letters are not.joined, but nearly every one 
stands alone and tolerably peri)endicular, without flow or rounding ; it is 
hke the handwriting of an old man. Even the individual letter wih 
sometimes be formed of unconnected strokes. The whole is plam and 
without any ornamental additions. After her name " Ickathrma stands 
always a large dot, as if she would say, " And therewith Pmictum Basta. 
The Emperor Alexander wTote a fine hand ; his name begins with a large 
elegant A. ; the other letters, though narrow, are not very plain till the 
conclusion, the r is very plainly written and well-fomied. Under the 
name is a very long complicated flourish, which looks confused at hrst, but 
the thread is easily found, as it is always very regularly formed, and in the 
same figure. Nicholas writes decidedly the best hand of all the Russiaii 
emperors ; it is caligraphically irreproachable, regular, mteUigible, ^d 
flowing. The emperor begins wdth an arching stroke of the pen, iinder 
which his name stands as under a roof. The last stroke of the i slopes 
under in a slender arch once or twice, is then carried upwards to join the 
first Hne, and ends over the name in a thick bold stroke made with a firm 
hand and the whole breadth of the pen. The name is thus prettily 

inclosed in a frame. « 

There can be no doubt that the new Michailoff palace, the residence ot 
the Grand-Duke Michael, is the most elegant building in St. Petersburg. 
It was built in 1820, by an Italian of the name of Rossi. The mtenor is 
decidedly the handsomest and most tasteful in decoration and furniture m 
the whole city, and it is a real enjoyment to feast the eye on the noble 
architectural proportions of the exterior. It would not be easy to give to 
a royal edifice so advantageous a position as this palace possesses ; even the 
Winter Palace has it not. Open from aU sides, it expands with all its 
various wings and courtyards, in the most gi-aceful manner, presenting 
a complete and perfect picture to the eye, not a tower, point or supernu- 
merary building to disturb the beautiful proportion. Behind the palace 
lies the Little Summer Garden, as it is cidled, whose lofty trees and 



102 



THE IMPERIAL PALACES. 



THE IMPERIAL PALACES. 



103 



^oups of foliage form a pleaslug contrast with the elegant architectural 
lines. Before the chief front is a spacious lawn scattered with graceful 
little buildings, the turf embroidered with tufts of flowers and shrubs. 
The inner court is divided from it by an iron-grating, the design of which, 
closely examined, must be admitted to be a model of good taste. All the 
out-buildings and numerous courts between them, are in such harmony 
with each other and the main building, that it is evident the whole was 
one design, and that nothing has been afterwards added or patched on. All 
the buildings around are occupied by the estabhshments of the Grand- 
Duke Michael, so nnich so, that tliis quarter of the city might almost be 
called his kingdom. Here are the dwellings of his officers, liis stables, 
liis riding-school, t^c. The latter deserves particular mention, as the 
finest of the kind that exists any where. In the establishment fifty young 
people are instructed in riding and in all arts that have the remotest 
reference to horse or rider ; for this object, and for the carousels in the 
fine riding-house, at which the com't is often present, a number of the 
finest horses are kept, and both horses and riders are so well lodged and 
fed, that it is a jjleasure to pass through the range of clean and elegant 
sleeping-rooms, sitting, and school rooms, saddle-rooms, stables, &c. All 
these apartments have double folding-doors in the centre, which stand 
open the whole day. A long carpet is laid along all the floors down to 
the stable, and the inspector at a glance can overlook every thing ; can 
satisfy hunself whether the beautiful white Arabian Asir, so celebrated for 
his silken hair and broad forehead, and the fiery Haimak of English 
blood, out of a mare from the Orloff stud, are in good condition ; at the 
same time he can see what the young cadets, who value themselves so much 
on their rosy cheeks and sprouting beards, are doing in their chambers. It 
is wonderfid how pure the air is kept in spite of this slight separation ; it 
is as if the stud were perfumed with eau de Cologne, as well as the 
cadets. 

The young men go through their course of study in six years. Ten 
are dismissed every year to the army as riding-masters. The art of riding 
was originally cstabKshed by Germans in Russia ; but it has undergone 
various modifications, and the riding-masters now coming from Germany 
must go through a school again to accomplish the requisite feats of art. 
In the Russian cavalry, the horses must constantly maintain such parade 
paces that the breaking-in they get from one rider is not enough. The 
poor animals feel too painfidly the severity of Russian disciplme ; and there 
is no army, where notwithstanding the goodness of the horses, so many 
are destroyed in the breaking-in and the parade, as in the Russian. 
Nevertheless, a tournament or a quadrille executed by these beautiful 
steeds in the presence of the court, and by a brilliant illumination, is by no 
means an uninteresting spectacle ; the spectators sometimes take a part in 
it. The riding-school is splendidly decorated on these occasions ; among 
other things there are six looking-glasses, so large that the rider can see 
himself from head to foot. To keep these glasses in good condition, and 
repair what the horses hoofs have spoiled, must bring a good deal of money 
to the imperial manufactory. 

Witliin the Michailoff quarter, if we may make use of the expression, is 
the colossal Exercising-house. This manege covers a space, imbroken 
by a single pillar, of 650 feet long, and 150 wide; a regiment can go 
through its evolutions there with perfect convenience ; a battalion may 



4 



manoeuvre there, and two squadrons might fight a battle there. This 
establishment origmated, as did nearly all such places in St. Petersburg, in 
the time of Paul. Sixteen giant stoves warm the buildings and the walla 
are lined with tliick woollen-cloth. The roof with its appendages presses 
on the thick walls with a weight of 300,000 hundred weight ; the iroa 
rods alone weigh 12,840,000 pounds, and to this must be added 3000 
great trunks of trees made use of in the woodwork, and 2000 square 
fathoms of iron plates with which the whole is covered without. The 
Circassians may be generally seen here busied in their feats of horseman- 
sliip, or shootmg at a mark, at which times a student in acoustics may make 
many uiterestmg observations. A pistol-shot awakens so prodigious an 
echo, that heard from the street one might fancy the whole building falling 
in one crash. 

When Potemkin, the conqueror of the Khan of the Crimea, resided ia 
the Tauride palace, presented to liim, and afterwards pm-chased from him 
by Catherine, and with his mordinate love of show, animated and adorned 
those desolate apartments, the palace may have answered the expectations 
raised by its name. It should have been seen in the days when the inso- 
lent and profuse favom-ite gave his empress a triumphal fete. It looks 
now like a ball-room on the morning after a festival. The exterior can 
never have laid claim to any particular beauty, and the best of its contents 
it has been robbed of to adorn other palaces. Although it is now and 
then inhabited by the imperial family in the spring, the furniture is of 
a very ordinary description, the large looking-glasses are dimmed, the 
tables aaid chairs oldfashioned : the collection of antiquities, displayed in 
the fii'st saloon, contains httle that is valuable or original ; and the pic- 
tm*es are for the most part bad copies of good originals. The enormous 
ball-room, the largest in St. Petersburg, is the only part on which the 
palace can pride itself. An idea may be formed of its size, from the fact 
that 20,000 wax-lights are necessary to light it up completely, and that 
the colossal group of the Laocoon, at the one end, can be plainly seen from 
the other only by means of a telescope. The last grand festival given 
here, was on the marriage of the Grand-Duke Michael, to which occasion 
the present decorations were owing. The marble is all false, the silver is 
plated copper, the piUars and statues are of brick, and the pictiu'cs copies. 
The looking-glasses although ten feet wide, and lofty in proportion, are 
60 badly made, that the surface on examination is found to be all in waves 
and full of bubbles ; they belong to an early period of the St. Petersbiu-g 
manufactory, and a comparison with the modem productions will show the 
progress made in this branch of industry. 

In one of the numerous chambers inliabited by the Emperor Alexander, 
we had an opportmiity of studying the titles of the Russian great officers of 
state, for ui the bureaus and drawers we fomid a number of envelopes with 
the addresses prmted on them. " Natschalniku Morskago Shtaba 
Moyego^ (To the cliief of my marine staff). " Glavnonatshalstvuyasht- 
shemu nad potshtoviim Department'^ (To the principal of the post 
department). A table-cover with some drops of wax from the candles 
used by Alexander, and some crayon-drawings by his admirable consort 
Elizabeth, and other objects of the same kind, will not be seen without 
interest. 

The AnnitshkofF palace, is much more frequently inhabited by the 
present imperial family than the Tauride palace. The former stands on 



104 



THE IMPERIAL PALACES. 



the great Prospekt in the neij^hbourhood of the Fontanka, and closes 
the brilliant ranjre of palaces in that street. It was orlgmally built by 
Elizabeth, and bestowed on Count Rasumoffsky, then twice bought by 
Catherine, and twice given to Prince Potemkin ; it is now the favourite 
abode of the emperor, and handsomely built, but has no 2)articular historical 
interest. A part of the court constantly resides here ; here also the 
emperor holds the greater number of his councils, receives ambassadors, 
&c, ; hence the cabinet of St. Petersburg mny be called the cabinet of 
Annitshkoif, as that of London is called the cabinet of St. James's, and 
that of Paris the cabinet of the Tuilerics. 

The pitiless Hames of 1837, having consumed the whole of the splendid 
interior of the Winter Palace ; the White Hall, and the Hall of St George, 
the Hall of the Generals, with its 400 portraits of marshals, admirals, and 
generals ; the apartments of the empress with all their costly contents, the 
labour of thousands of hands ; the splendid Malachite vases, and beautiful 
chimney-pieces, and pillars of jasper ; a detailed account of the palace 
as it formerly was, would possess little interest. 

Those who have seen the Winter Palace before the conflagration, will 
hardly reflect without sorrow on the enormous mass of wealth and 
industry devoured by the greedy flames. It is a question whether smce 
the burning of Perscpolis, so nmch and such precious fniits of human art 
and labour have Avithin six hours vanished into smoke. The glorious and 
prosperous reigns, and the magnificent courts, of Elizabeth and Catherine, 
and the tasteful courts of Alexander and Nicholas, had for nearly a century 
been amassing these treasures. Ihe efflect of this one conflagration on 
tlie industry of St. Petersburg has been and still must be great. It will de- 
mand millions to restore what has been lost. The fortunes of many 
families, nay many new branches of industry, may be said to have arisen 
from the ashes of the Winter Palace. The fire makes an «poch in the 
history of the city. From it many famihes date their titles and dij^lomas, 
their rise and prosperity ; many also their disgrace and fall. 

The suites of apartments were perfect labyrinths ; it is said that not 
less than six tliousand persons had their abode there. Even the chief of 
the imperial household, who had filled that post twelve years, was not, it is 
said, perfectly acquainted with all parts of the building. As in the forests of 
the great landliolders,. many colonies are formed for years together, of which 
the owner takes no notice, so there nestled many a one in this palace not 
included amongst the regular inhabitants. The watchers on the roof 
placed there for different purjioses, among others to keep the water in 
the tanks from freezing during the winter by casting in red-hot balls, 
built themselves huts between the chimneys, took their wives and childi*en 
there, and even kept poultry and goats who fed on the grass of the roof ; 
it is said that at last some cows were introduced, but this abuse had been 
corrected before the occurrence of the fire. 

The Hermitage joins the Winter Palace to the east ; then follows the 
imperial theatre, some other palaces belonging to private persons, and 
last of all the Marble Palace. Without doubt every one on healing this 
name, will picture to himself an elegant white, gay-looking palace, shining 
from afar like a temple of Solomon on the banks of the Neva, and will 
not be a little astonished to find it a dark fortress-looking building. 
Such at least is its appearance among the cheei-ful sniihng palaces of St. 
Petersburg, though it might not be so striliing in gloomier cities. It 



THE IMPERIAL PALACES. 



105 



ought more properly to have been called the Granite Palace, for much more 
trranite and iron have been employed on it than marble. The extraordinary 
massive walls are built of blocks of granite, the supports of the roof are 
iron beams, the roof itself sheet-copper, the window-frames gilded copper. 
The palace was last inhabited by the Grand- Duke Constantine, and is now 
evidently much neglected. The above named are the only imperial resi- 
dences in St. Petersburg itself. The number of the present imperial 
family (the Russian tlu-one was never surrounded by so many princes and 
princesses as at present) affords room for conjectm'e that later travellers 
nill find more palacei^ to describe. 



CHAPTER XIV. 



THE HERMITAGE. 



It is a well-known fact, that Catherine buUt her Hermitage, as Frederick 
built his Sans Souci, and Numa Pompihus his grotto of Egeria. So many 
have made a pilgiimage to the Hermitage and told of its^ splendoiu-s, 
that it seems a twice-told tale to speak of it again. As it is said, how- 
ever, that the building, or at least the greater part of it, is to be puUed 
down, and reconstructed on a new plan, and as we may be the last to 
speak of it as Catherine arranged it, those who are not prepared to 
pack their traveUing-trunks and set oflP for the north tlus wmter, wdl 
not perhaps object to another description of the doomed edihce. ihe 
treasures contained in the place are, moreover, so abundant, that thousands 
might wander through it, and every one find sometlung new, that had 
escaped the attention of his predecessors. , .. i i. 

The Hermitage, therefore, be it said for the hundredth and the la^t 
time (?), is no cloistered solitude, no rocky grotto, hidden amid the waters 
of the Neva's murmuring sources, but a magnificent palace, a g^^at tem- 
ple of the Muses loftily and proudly throned, at the mouth of the broad 
river ; a temple in which every mental enjoyment has an altar reared in 
its honour. The forests of masts excepted, no forests are here to be seen ; 
nor except the bears and foxes worn by the St. Petersburg eUyants on 
the court quay, are there any wild animals in this wilderness ; the rocks 
of this solitude are chiseUed, pohshed, and perforated by weU frequented 
saloons ; the hermit is an empress ; the muses, nymphs, and other divmities 
of the woods, are visible and warm-blooded princesses and countesses ted 
with the nectar and ambrosia of the imperial table. 

The empress built this magic temple for the recreation of her leisure 
in the conversation of men of learning, and for the preservation of the 
productions of art, and it is well known how attractive, how splendid and 
luxurious were the evenmgs passed here, when the business transacted 
in the Winter Palace was ended, and when, traversing the covered 
passages and bridges that connected the buildings, she entered her owix 
magic creation, where she had formed a little republic of arts and letters. 



106 



THE HERMITAGE. 



THE HERMITAGE. 



107 






i 



We possess many an allurmg picture by Storch, by Dupr6 de St. Matire and 
by others who took a part in those evenings, o'f the perfect freedom and 
equality that reigned here, in accordance with the ukases suspended in all 
the apartments of the palace. Musicians displayed their talents, artists 
their works, and men of wit their opinions, and the pictures which we 
see elsewhere only as allegorical representations of art and science-loving 
princes were here every day rcahzed. On the roof of the building, the mighty 
Semiramis of the north had created a garden with flowers, slmibs, and 
lofty trees heated in winter by subterraneous vaults, and illuminated in 
summer, and niany might here reaUy esteem tlieir abode more splendid 
than the Grecian Olympus. 

It is true the soul is now wanting to the whole, yet enough remains to 
quicken the spiiit and warm the heart. Catherine's garden yet blooms, 
though the birds she fed have long since moulted tlieir feathers for the 
last time. Her tlieatre is so unchanged that a representation might be given 
in it to-morrow, if the actors could be reanimated ; the laws she made for 

the etiquette of her literary evenings are still suspended in the apartments 

they want only a second Catherine to put them again in force ; the library, 
the collection of pictures, the musemn, are still there as she left them ; nothing 
is yet injured, only here and there sometliing added. In another year all 
will be changed, and Catherine's court of love and the muses transformed 
into — what ? 

The great picture collection contains many that are renowned all over 
the world, and may well enchant the eyes of connoisseurs, particularly 
those who admire the Netherlands school of painting. On the whole, 
there are more Dutch cottages such as Ostade painted (offering the 
strangest contrast to the palace, to which they belong), than there are 
Venetian palaces or Roman churches; more North German cattle-pas- 
tures than southern Alps ; more unroasted and roasted game, than roasted 
martyrs ; more hares transfixed by the spit of the cook, than St. Sebas- 
tians by the arrows of the heathen ; more dogs, horses, and cows, than 
priests, prophets, and saintly visions. So numerous are the productions 
of some of these masters here, that separate halls are devoted to them, 
and it is scarcely conceivable how enough of their pictures were found for 
other collections. 

Going through the collection in the usual manner, the apartment first 
entered is that containing the pictures of Van der Neer. This artist has 
painted the moon as often as if he had been one of Diana's priests ; every 
where it is the moon, and again the moon. In general there is the sea, 
or a lake, or some other piece of water in the neighbourhood, on wliich 
the long reflected rays stream far into the dark distance ; fishers are in the 
foreground, and boats dancing on the silver wave. 

In fact, of all the heavenly bodies the moon is the only one that belongs 
to painters. The stars are too distant and too small to produce greater 
effect in a picture than those on a royal mantle ; they belong to astro- 
nomers, philosophers, ancl thinkers, and I believe no reasonable artist ever 
yet attempted to animate his picture with them. The sun is too magnifi- 
cent, too bright and fiery, to be painted otherwise than in reflection ; and 
the painter who endeavours to represent him seems to me to commit as 
great a faidt as he does who attempts to represent the face of God. God 
and the sun can be seen only as they are reflected in their works. None 
can look on the face of the sun but when he is veiled in clouds. It is 



otherwise with ihe moon, whose f^ form shmes so softly and tenderly in 
the vaults of heaven, and in whom all eyes may rejoice. 

rT^rectly to contradict our remark on Van dor Neer s moon- 
liffk^pictures, ii the very next room hang Claude Lorraine s four celebrated 
pfctoes of the four tiiiies of the day, whei;e not only he mommg and 
^enTnJ sun ai'C depicted, but also the powei-ftxl orb m his -<1% f ^- 
do^ indicated by a dwarfish blot of red colour. Beautiful as tlie land- 
sca^^s o7the renowned Lorraine otherwise ^^^re, we could not reconcile 
oSves to his pitiful ApoUo, and were sorry that Claude had not avoided 
tirmistake. These much-esteemed pictm-es were painted m Italy and 
pW throur^h various hands in Italy and France till they reached the 
Wrian forest, and remained a while at Cassel, whence they were stolen 
KeXsican C^sar and laid at the feet of his consort in Pans. From 
Paris they were brought by Alexander and suspended m his northern 
pXyra, where, amid "snow and ice, they speak to the Hyperboreans of 
Series of the south. They seem to be quite m their place here, and 
are better ui.derstood and more enjoyed than elsewhere ; because here more 
than elsewhere is felt the want of what they display so gloriously. It wd^ 
bTlong, probably, before a hand is fomid strong enough to remove them 

''l^'lS^^^es, the next picture that, greets us is a lovely 
maHen%yPordenon,befire the suffering Christ. IfitAima, orisitMaiy? 
!!!^he o il-Lisher or the adultress ? She is beautiful, and to no nia% and 
feehng heart can she plead in vain for sympathy It is one of the lovehe t 
feLdf faces that lives on canvass, and well deserves to be sought ou^ 
among thousands. We promise never to forget her, ^^ wander fcther to 
where^the old woman of Denner offers a pinch of snuff either to us or to her 
husband, who hangs near her. In these two pictures the very hairs on the 
held are counted, Ld even the hairs on the moles of the face. It is mcom- 
prehensible that Dernier, who was midoubtedly a good pamter, should have 
given himself so much trouble about every wrmkle and mole. It makes 
one melancholy to look at them ; it is as if we saw how grief ^d vexation 
had laboured for years to furrow the skin. Yet has not Claude Lorraine 
painted every stubble in his corn-fields ? CaWs " Christ Bearing the 
Cross," and Dominichino's " Arrow Poisoner," are exceUent pictures, and 
would be enjoyed if there were not too loud a screaming and caching from 
Wynant's aid Hondekoter's poultry. Here is a whole hall-full of fowls, 
chickens, ducks, peaeocks, pheasants, and turkeys ; as many ^^ ^^^ly ^e 
as in the St. Petersburg market. WilUngly would we rest ourselves on the 
wooden bench beneath the protecting that^^ ^hat Wynant s penc^^^^ 
created. Thick-foliaged oak-trees and fresh elder-bushes shade the wan- 
derer; the pretty feathered tribe plmne themselves and quarrel, and peck 
at the com and the gnats in the grass. In the souls of these two pamters 
most priceless peace must have borne sway. They seem to have dreamed 
of nothing? but of the innocent dumb souls so wonderfully lodged in the 
bodies of domestic fowls, and to have been exclusively occupied with doves, 
capons, oxen, and calves. Even the disputes and wars of these birds can- 
not have disturbed then- equanimity, for it is only the passions and wars of 
men which go to our hearts. , 

To the same class as Wynant belong Cuyp and Rosa di Tiyoli. I he 
pictures of the latter are a Uttle over-laden, and his sheep look some- 
what too knowingly at the spectator. But Cuyp makes one really long to 



108 



THE HERMITAGE, 






\ 



i t 

f 



W 



lb 

i'i 
1 i 



taste the cool grass he gives his sheep, and truly, it is a piece of good for- 
tune for the St. Petersburg cows that they do not understand painted grass ; 
they would no longer be able to chew their Ingrian moss, for mere vexation 
and envy. The celebrated cow of Potter, which ought at most to be called 
notorious, might be a Httle more decorous, and would certainly gain by it 
in our eyes. She is as unasthetic as the Ganymede carried off by Jupiter's 
eagle, and the little drinking Bacchus at Dresden. It is inconceivable how 
she should owe her place in the Hermitage to a lady. 

There are here so many battle-pieces by Wouvermann, that one cannot 
but be astonished at the fertihty of this warlike genius : every where the 
victorious white liorse — every where the wild bandit physiognomy of the 
soldiers of the tliirty years' war ; the poor tormented peasants, the scattered 
poidtry, the burning cottages, the plundered herds, the ruuied works of 
peace.* The pictures of Wouvermann are all so alike, that if he had not 
painted so well, he MOidd have said all he had to say in one picture. More- 
over, it remains uncei-tain wliethcr by his plundering soldiers, who all sit so 
easily and gracefully on horseback tliat they make one long to enlist under 
them, and whether, by the poor ragged peasants, who with their dishe- 
velled hair and tattered garments rather excite our laughter than our pity, 
Wouvermann meant to render a service to Mars or to Ceres ; or whether he 
only meant to facilitate the studies of the historian by so faithfully de- 
picting the horrors of war. 

From Wouvermann's wild soldiers let us take shelter in Rembrandt's 
reverend heads of old men, sages, and scnbes, of which there is here the 
greatest collection that is perhaps to be found any where. A very instruc- 
tive parallel may be drawn between Rembrandt's old men and Denncr's. 
What grandeur, what pitliincss, what clearness of spirit in one ! What 
softness and feebleness in the other ! Denner's old men are worthy old 
people, but they have lost their memory, mumble unintelligible words in a 
feeble voice, and sit in furs and dressing-go wtis behind the stove over their 
coffee. Those of Rembrandt have led an active life — have retained, even 
in their eightieth year, reason, power, and clearness of comprehension; 
they are men, viri consulares, gray-headed chiefs, prophetic seers, expe- 
rienced lawgivers, hoary emperors. The most celebrated picture of Rem- 
brandt here, is the " Taking do^vTi from the Cross," a powerful, striking 
picture, which fills every spectator ^vith pain and sadness. 

At the further end of Rembrandt's hall we embark on the waves of 
Vernet's pencil. There are also many pictures here of Horse Vernet's. 
He visited Russia, and will scarcely have found a country in Europe where 
he could better study the nature of that noble animal. Russia possesses all 
possible varieties, from the wild rough-coated steeds of Siberia to the 
tamest and most thoroughly-broken parade and coach-horses ; the half- 
wild horses of the steppe, the slender fiery Cossack horses, the small poor- 
looking but spirited horses of Poland and Lithuania, and the agile and un- 
wearied natives of the Crimea and the Caucasus. 

In the apartment where Vernet's billows were heaving, several parrots 
were chattering and scrcaming. We fancied they must have been relics 
of Catherine's aviaries, and hoped to catch some echo from that vanished 
time ; but we learnt to our sorrow, that the last of Catherine's parrots 
had died the year before last. Pity that there w-as none to repeat the last 
words of the imperial pupil. All is green in tliis apartment; green 
waves, green parrots, green malachite vases. 



THE HERMITAGE. 



109 






Nowhere are more splendid specimens of these vases to be seen than 
here: indeed, the whole imperial dwelling is sparkhng with precioua 
stones, pillars of jasper, cornices of porphyrj'^, figures of lapis lazuli, and 
other wonders of the mine. 

Near these ostentatious productions of modem art, are some neighbour- 
ing cabinets filled with trophies brought by Russian antiquaries from the 
graves of the Crimea. This is one of the most interesting collections to be 
seen any where ; and we must admire the providence of the Russian 
government, and wonder at the good fortune that has preserved so many 
costly relics from so distant a period. From ancient times, the countless 
graves of the Greeks of Taurus, and of the original inhabitants of the 
Caucasus and Siberia, have been objects of zealous research. The Alarics, 
the Hims, the Tartars and the Cossacks of the present day, have plun- 
dered them, and melted do\\Ti the treasures found therein. The greater 
part of the kurgans and mohilos of South Russia, have been long since 
burrowed like rabbit-warrens, and explored like mines ; a considerable 
trade was and is yet candied on with the treasure found there. Whatever 
the watchfulness of the government could rescue from the im-historical 
merchants and robbers, has been deposited in the Hermitage. The 
graves of Kertsh, at the mouth of the Taurian Bosphorus, have yielded 
largely, and also the bmial-places of Mithridates and his successors, the 
kings of the Bosphorus. The choicest objects are the laurel-wreaths of 
pure ducat gold. Many of them are quite perfect, not a twig or leaf 
iDeiiig deficient. These wreaths adorned the victors' brows more grace- 
fully than our orders and stars. The head which was adorned by the 
ancients, was far more the original seat of great deeds, than the breast 
adorned by us. The crowned head was a far more picturesque object than 
the star-covered coat. It never occurred to any painter to place the 
gloria of a saint or martjT on his bosom ; no, the rays must grace and 
radiate from the throne of the spmt. Our cold climate, and our closely- 
fitting garments may have assisted this change, for it was not possible 
in the folds of a Greek or Roman drapery to place a decoration on the 
breast. 

After the halls of the golden laiu-el-wTeaths, and the Itahan cameos, 
we come again to other magic productions of colour ; the greater part of 
which formerly belonged to Malmaison. Wlien the Emperor Alexander 
was in Paris, in 1814, he visited the divorced consort of Napoleon, who 
spoke to him of the smallness of the property that remained to her, and of 
the insecurity of its possession. Her imperial husband had laid at her 
feet so many spoils of the German and Italian galleries, that she was 
afraid, when all were claimed by their rightful o^^^lers, Uttle would remain 
to her. Alexander bought the whole treasures of Malmaison, and 
enriched the Hermitage with them, w^hence they wiU not be so easily 
reclaimed. A part of the purchase-money has foimd its way back to 
Russia, with the young grandson of Josephine. 

There are among them many Claude's, some powerful Domenichino's, 
and Tintoretto's, honey-sweet Carlo Dolccs, the beautiful marble flesh of 
Van der Werft, the eggs, fish, and fish-women of Dow, the satin robes, 
embroidered coverings, and lovely faces of Mieris, and cut-onions, turnips, 
and vegetable -parings in abundance. Also a barber, and his well-soaped 
rogues of customers, who seem to have been taken by a Daguerrotype, 
for every little bubble in the soapy froth may be distmguished, and yet 



^^Q THE HERMITAGE. 

U.e spirit oVl'-vMe,^ not ^ufifer^-^the^^^^^^^^ 

parts A calculator, by Qu^mtm MaUys, w^se^as ^^ . ^^^^ thereby the 

solved his problem. remaps iua.w;> „-lp„lat;n!? for thousands of 

hmnan mind, >vhlch h<^ been t'""l''"S ^^"J,,3'*T^^^^ and 

years ^-ithout being able °t^l='"'=^*'JXm;kow^ through *em, 

ilubens's arc so numerous that one can =<=^''^^ly "^f^lv^^^^ fej that they 

the Rubens's V^^^^^^^^^Z^ ^.Z^^^^ of Rubens! 

seem to be satires on *« Grecmn n^^rt^logy. The V^^^^^^ 

£ r^X:^, 'and IS 1 1 Wspc-e's l.oil. and 

^tVmitage . n. .- ^ ^^S^^tXdSS^^^^ 

rSi^nf^iSuffiS^^^^^ 

is, after >.nlty|^^c great impuje^^^^^^^^^ of families of the 

Xl^'Xe Jci^^r h^ never visited Jo H-^^^^l^'^"^ r.^ 

rfVrii^c:? ^^^^if'^ftg^^^^^^^^^^^ pr; *^° 

look at the libtlcsi^ laccs oi tut. ^ co manv painters could ever 

pictures, we cannot help -l^'ng ""-''ly- J^j^^^^Y^^^^^^^ for their 

'obtain such extraordniary ^fn^^^^^^'t ^^Ind paintings reflecting 
works the rapture ^W '^-^ ^^^ J""^ tSours^unte? ; for thirty 

r-^.^^ifafLtiv:t=nai^^^^^^^ 

opened eye ! . , , . ^ i. «vo V^nvnnd all doubt the crown 

^ The most admired objects here are ^«>°"J f ^et with them, 
jewels, and other valuables a'™nS«^,^y» .V<=P^™^f ^dam is so little 
kr boast as we may of om- higher e'dtivafon, tte ^^^^"'"^j 
diivcn from his kingdom, that we aU grasp, hke ^"^^ that which 
more eagerly after what is bnght and f «e™g, than aH^^^^.^ ^^^^^^_ 
breathes life and grace? What is the ^^ater o y lustre of 

brooks, to the water of the imperial ^'amonds ? all Ac meUmg 
Carlo bofce, to the lustre of those pearls ^hat are a he ,^ ^^ 

cots, and juicy pomegranates of Hecmskerk to the orienta P ^^^ 

the diadem?' Cuyi>'s green meadows ^^f.'l.^™*"^";^^*^'' ' „„d longing. 

green of the emerald in yon sceptre ^''^^J' ^-^f^Ve v sen^al, rapaeioiS, 
We human creatures, taken on the whole, aie ^eiy senbv .1 

unSned beings, and f^^ ^ ^^J^ ^^^ ^^ 
Rembrandt's " reverend old man, ..e ^^^";{^;^^^ grasps liis 

sopher as not to grow more ammated when he jo. e ke 1 g J ^^^ 
Leys, and opens that magic cabinet. In fact, it won ^.^^ 

elsiwhere so many jewels together. .The ^ jo^^^^ into the trea- 

India and Persia has brough a ^^^^^f X^/ ^^^^^^^^^ bosoms, and 

sm-y, and lately her o>vn subject "^^^^*^\"^^^;^" ^^^^^^ contented 

yielded such t/easures, that many a private V^^^^g^ ^^ ^i^aems, 
lith what was meant for the ^^.P^"^^, ^^^^^^^^^^ displayed 

sceptres, armlets, bracelets, S^^^f ^ "«SS,]>oujetg^^^^^^^^ Y (^ 

here in astonidiing profusion, and if one dai-ed to pluck a nosegay 



THE HERMITAGE. 



Ill 



sparkling garden, many would find a few sprigs sufficient to place them 
above the cares of Hfe. 

St. Petersburg has, in the Casan church, a copy of St. Peter's, and the 
Hermitage has a copy of Rafaelle's Loggi. They are executed by the best 
Italian masters in one of the wings built for the purpose by the celebrated 
architect Guarenghi. These magnificent pictm-es they place in a more 
advantageous Hght than in Rome itself, and they can be better enjoyed 
here than there. In the passages of the Loggi are displayed some beau- 
tiful models in wax and ivory, partly representations of Russian popular 
life, which every one interested in the study of Russia will contemplate 
with delight. Among other thuigs there is an exquisitely wTOught settle- 
ment of Russian peasants in wax. A wooden dweUing-house shaded by birch- 
trees is seen on the borders of a brook. A fisherman is sitting by the brook, 
an old bearded peasant is at work in the yard, his daughter is going to the 
spring, the old mother is before the door feeding poultr)-. It is a pity this 
pretty rustic picture is composed of such perishable materials. The trea- 
sures contained in the library of the Hermitage, although they appear in 
the Hght of day, are yet more buried and concealed than those of the 
saloons of art. Among other interesting matters may be seen there the 
whole legacy of Diderot and Voltaire's library ; the books as he used and 
abused them with his marginal notes in pencil, and the thumb-stains and 
dogs-ears left by his fingers on the covers. 

We have but touched on some of the treasures of this palace, but enough 
has been said to show that a hermit might boldly renounce the rest of the 
world if allowed to make his cell here, where half nature and half mankind 
are offered to his contemplation on canvass, in colour, in marble, glass, and 
ivory ; painted, chiselled, stamped, woven, and printed. 



CHAPTER XV. 



THE FOUNDLING HOSPITAL. 



TiiE director of the Founclling Hospital of St. Petersbm-g is a German, 
from one of the Baltic provinces. Indeed, nearly all the charitable insti- 
tutions in Russia are presided over by Gemians. When I went to pay my 
respects to bun, I found him busily writing in an elegant study ; and as his 
work did not admit of delay, he in^dted me to sit down till he had finished. 
There is some interest in examining the study of a man tlu-ough whose 
hands there pass annually from 600 to 700 milUons of rubles (for that is 
supposed to be the amount of revenue belonging to the hospital), and on 
whose judgment depends, in a great measure, the welfare of nearly 30,000 
human beings ; and I was therefore not soiTy of the leisure thus afforded 
me for contemplatmg the director's birds and flowers, for some notion may 
be formed of a man's character from an examination of the objects by 
which he chooses to be habitually surrounded. 

At length the director laid his pen aside, and said to me in a friendly 



112 



THE FOUNDLING HOSPITAL. 



THE FOUNDLING HOSPITAL. 



113 



I ; 



tone, " Now, sir, I am at your service. Put wliat questions you please 
to me, and then we will go and see whatever you wish to see." And 
thereupon he proceeded, while walking up and down the room, to inform 
me of the history, condition, and statistics of the vast institution. 

The Vospitatchioi Dom, or House of Education, of St. Petersburg, is of 
more recent origin than that of Moscow, of which it was only a dependent 
branch, when instituted by Catherine hi 1770. The new estabhshnient 
was at first one of very Umited extent, containing, in 1790, not more than 
300 children. Since the commencement of the present century, tlie 
number has increased with astonishing rapidity, for in 1837 no less than 
25,600 of the rising generation were under the direction of this colossal 
institution. The number of children annually brought in has been conti- 
nually on the increase. In 1829 the number amounted to upwards of 
3000, from 1830 to 1833 it was between 4000 and 5000, and from 1834 
to 1837 between 5000 and 7000. 

No condition is annexed to the reception of the children ; all are received, 
and the government has hitherto provided with the utmost Hberality for the 
increasing wants of the hospital. The original endowment of Catherine 
was insignificant compared to tlie present wealth of the establishment, 
which has been enriched by presents from private individuals, and by large 
gifts from Alexander, Paul, and Nicholas, till it has become one of the 
wealthiest landed proprietors in Russia, not to speak of some dozens of 
millions lent out on mortgage. Alexander, moreover, made a gift to the 
hospital of the monopoly of cards, and of the revenue of the Lombard ; 
ajid the constant ebbing and flowing that goes on in the St. Petersburg 
purses, makes the Lombard a place of very great importance. Thus it is 
that, in one way or another, the annual revenues of the Foundling Hospital 
do not fall short of from 600 to 700 millions of rubles, or about twice the 
amount of the national revenue of Prussia. The annual expenses of the 
institution are estimated at 5,200,000 rubles, and in 1837 the bmldmgs 
then in progress for its accommodation were expected to cost two millions. 
Among others, a neat church was in the course of erection, on which it 
was intended to expend 600,000 rubles. 

Within St. Petersburg itself are the principal buildings, where the 
chil(h-en are usually kept during the first six weeks, after which they are 
sent out to nurse among the peasantry, -within a circuit of about 130 versts. 
When about six years old, they are taken from their foster-parents, and the 
girls return to St. Petersburg for their education, wliile the boys are sent 
to a branch establishment at Gatshina. 

It must not be supposed that the buildings at St. Petersburg have at all 
the air of a school or hospital ; on the contrary, their spaciousness and 
magnificence give them rather the appearance of palaces. The Vospita- 
telnoi Dom, with its courts and gardens and its dependent buildings, occu- 
pies a space of 30,000 square toi3es,t close to the Fontanka, and therefore 
in the best part of the town. The main building is composed of what was 
formerly the palaces of Prince Bobrinski and Count Rasumoffski. These 
were purchased for the institution, but a number of additional buildings 
were erected, and the whole may now be said to form a little district of its 
own. 



it 



* Tlie establishment where money is lent on pledges, an institution which in 
almost every continental state is m tho hands of the government . 
f More than 28 English acres. 



The Vospitateluoi Dom of St. Petersburg is much more splendid than 
that of Moscow. The children are better educated, and for that very 
reason more easily provided for. Nevertheless, the mortality is much 
greater than at Moscow, owing partly to the greater poverty of the 
peasantiy around St. Petersburg. Moscow lies in the centre of the most 
vigorous portion of the Russian population, among whom it is more easy 
to find good healthy nurses, and people disposed to treat the children well 
tliat are confided to them. Ai'ouud St. Petersburg the bulk of the peasantry 
are of an Ingrlan race ; they and their houses are wretched in the extreme, 
and the population so small as not to average more than 70 to the square 
mile* for the whole government of St. Petersburg. Of the children brought 
into the house, one-fourth die during the first six weeks at the breasts of 
the nurses ; and of those sent out among the peasants, more than one-half 
die during the six years, so that at the end of that time, scarcely a third 
of the children brought into the institution remain alive. In the 
common course of nature, had they remained at the breasts of their 
mothers, more than half those children would have been alive at the end 
of the sixth year. It is partly to the enormous distances which the chil- 
dren have to be carried that this mortality must be attributed. Indeed 
many of them are all but dead when they arrive. Not merely St. Peters- 
burg and its Immediate environs, but one-half of Russia sends its surplus 
infantine population to this Institution, and the other half deals In the same 
way towards Moscow. In 1836, on one and the same day, there arrived 
a child from Kisheneff in Bessarabia, and another from Tobolsk in Siberia, 
places considerably more than a thousand miles off. How many poor in- 
fants may not perish on such journeys before they even reach the Vospita- 
telnoi Dom at all. 

When their education is complete, the children are relieved from all 
obUgation towards the institution, and are left to devote themselves to 
such pursuit as they may themselves have selected, or have been prepared 
for. A large number of the boys are placed in the imperial manufactories 
of paper, carpets, looking-glasses, &c. ; others are put out to merchants, 
&c. and those that have shown most talent become artists, priests, and 
students. The girls, in the same way, according to the abilities they have 
displayed, are put out as servants, bonnes, or governesses ; and, as the girls 
have generally received instruction in French, German, drawing, music, 
&c., there is always a very great demand for governesses from the Vospi- 
tateluoi Dom, the more so as the Russians know so little of those preju- 
dices against illegitimate birth, which have descended to us from the 
middle ages, that there is scarcely a word In their language to express the 
idea. In 1836, thirty-two governesses had been placed in respectable 
families, and in 1837 the applications were so numerous, that it was appre- 
hended not more than half the number required would be forthcoming. 

In the institution there are always from 600 to 700 wet-nm-ses who are 
paid at the rate of 250 rubles a-year, and have their board, lodging, &c., 
free. On such terms, there is no doubt, an abundant supply of competent 
individuals may always be had. Of teachers and inspectors, or class 
ladies, as they are called in Russia, there are fi:om 400 to 500 in the house. 



* As the German square mile is equal to 20 EngUsh square miles, it follows that 
the population does not exceed 3| souls to the EngUsh square mile. 



M 



1 14 THE FOUNDLING HOSPITAL. 

--French, German, and Russlans,-ancl their salaries often amount to 
several thousands. The educational expenses of the mstitution are done 
estimated at more tlian half a miUion, that is, mcludmg the estabhshnient 
for boys at Gotsluna. Twelve medical men, mostly Germans, are attached 
to the estabhshment, and are bound to pay frequent visits to the intants 
out at nurse in the country. Then there are cooks, housekeepers, and 
other servants, some of them pupils of the estabhsliment, though, for many 
reasons, strangers are always prefeiTcd. In the bmldmg at St. Petersburg, 
the number of inmates rarely falls short of 6000. , • • i, 

•In immediate connexion with this estabhshment is a lymg-in hos- 
pital, conducted with the same degree of hberality, aU that apply bemg 
received gratuitously, while the arrangements are so exceUent that wo- 
men far above the lowest classes frequently avail themselves of it. Women 
may enter the hospital, if they wish it, a fuU month before the period at 
which they expect their confinement, and the utmost secrecy is observed, 
none but those connected with the house bemg permitted to enter it. 
Even the emperor, when, on one occasion, he wished to mtmde mto the 
pla^e, was stopped, and was prevailed on to respect the asylum. Every 
other part of the establishment, however, is freely showii, except on fc>mi- 
days, on which day no strangers are admitted, but the friends and relatives 
of the foundhngs, for many parents continue to watch the progress ot their 
infants, even after having committed them to the care of the great house. 
Not only poor pedestrians and private soldiers may be seen wending their 
way to the Vospitatelnoi Dom on a Smiday, but ladies nchly clad, and 
gentlemen bedizened with oixlers, may be seen steppmg from then: 

coaches-and-four. ,. 

The first place we visited was the lodge where the children are 
received on their arrival. It is a small warm room, and the entrance lead- 
ing: to it stands open night and day, all the year round. An inspectresa 
and several servants are at aU times in attendance, and a large book hes 
open m which the young stranger is forth^vith registered. From fifteen to 
twenty usually arrive in the course of the day, and the only question ever 
asked* is whether the child has been baptized and named. It the 
answer is in the affirmative, the name is entered in the book ; it not, the 
child is merely numbered and registered accordingly, Hke a bale of goods. 
In the dusk of evening it is that the greatest number are usually 
brouo-ht in. In fine weather there are more arrivals than in bad, and in 
summer more than in winter. When we entered the room, it was about 
one o'clock ; and down to that hour, the day had aheady increased the 
ffreat family by seven, whom we found entered in the book imder the 
numbers of 2310—2317. Sometimes when the mother unwinds the 
cloth she will find her hifant already dead, in which case it is not received, 
but the fact is notified to the pohce. ^ • i i, i i. 

When the poor mother, oft amid sobs and tears, has unpnnted her last 
kiss upon her infant, the latter is conveyed to the chapel, to be immediately 
received into the bosom of the orthodox Greek church, and hymns and pious 
ceremonies of interminable length salute the newly arrived. Many die 
in the hands of the priests, and some on their way from the receiving 
lodge to the chapel, in which case there remain but two documents to teU 
the melancholy tale. In one book will be perhaps the following entry : 
" No 4512.— A child three weeks old. A giri. Received 6th April, 8 A. m. 
The corresponding entry then in another book will be : " No 4512. Died 



THE FOUNDLING HOSPITAL. 



115 



6 April, 9 A. M. Handed to the gravedigger to be buried." Those that 
come alive out of the chapel, are examined by the medical attendant, and 
if found healthy, are delivered into the care of the inspectress of wet- 
nurses, who delivers for each a certificate something like the following : 
*" No 4513. Boy. Baptized Ivan Petrovitsh. Received 10 May, 10 
A. M. Healthy. Placed among the infants at the breast.'* 

The wards for the sucklings are spacious, warm, well-lighted, and hand- 
somely fitted up. In the anterooms are baths, constantly kept full of w^arm 
water, in which the children are frequently washed. The nurses are all 
neatly dressed in the Russian national costume. Sometimes the mothers 
will apply to be appointed nurses to theu' own children ; a wish that 13 
generally complied with, when no reason to the contrary presents itself. 
To prevent the nurses from changing the children confided to them, the 
cradles are placed altera ately, first a boy and then a girl, and then the 
beds of the nurses two and two, in such a manner that between two in- 
fants of the same sex there must always intervene two nurses and another 
infant. In each ward there are from 40 to 50 beds, and on the occa- 
sion of my visit there were 650 sucklings, and an equal number of wet- 
nurses in the house. 

Four or five deatlis occur daily in the Vospitatelnoi Dom, or from 1500 
to 1800 yearly.* A section of the cemetery of Okhta is set apart for 
the foundlings. They are usually buried several at a time, those that 
have died dming two or tliree successive days being committed to the 
earth at one and the same time. In that cemetery, it is supposed 30,000 
of these children have already been deposited. 

In the infirmary we found 150 patients. Three of the httle sufferers 
had that morning closed their eyes for ever. Their bodies were laid out 
in a separate room, on small beds which had been neatly decorated 
according to the prescribed form, but no mother's eye was there to shed 
a tear upon the deceased. For my own part, however, the dead bodies 
laid out in that room, produced a less melancholy effect upon me, than the 
cradles intended for the living in the receiving lodge. 

We next proceeded to that part of the building which was set apart 
for the girls who had returned from the country. I do not recollect how 
many hundred girls, from six years old to eighteen, were, at the period of 
my visit, in that part of the establishment, but I was astonished at the 
order and cleanliness of the rooms, the excellent arrangement of the 
schoolrooms and dormitories, and the neat appearance of the pupils them- 
selves. Every thing about the place, compared with all similar estabhsh- 
ments that I had seen in other countries, was really magnificent. The 
expression is not too strong. 

It was just dinner time when we entered the dining-room. Long tables 
in three rows were neatly laid out, and long rows of the elder girls 
marched in from different sides, in double files, led by their governesses 
and inspectresses. Hundreds, however, came running in from the gar- 
den, or skipping down the stairs ; they were differently clad, according to 
their several classes. Some were in red, others in blue, yellow, brown, 
&c., but all were clean, and their hair either laid smoothly over the forehead, 
or prettily braided. There was an air of health and cheerfulness about 

* This refers only to the house m St. Petersburg. Including the ]x)ys' house and 
the children out in the country, the annual deaths average from 2400 to 3000. 

i2 



116 



THE FOUNDLING HOSPITAL. 



THE EXCHANGE. 



117 






II 



^1 



them aU, and the sight of so many pretty girls aU at once was quite 
bewitching. The director was standing by tlie side of me, and eacti 
of the childicn in passing saluted him in the most unconstrained manner 
with a " Good day, papa," in Russian, French, and German. 

Gradually all had arranged themselves at their respective tables, and a 
moment of complete silence followed, after wliich there arose a hymn ot 
pnuse to the Creator, who feeds the doves and the motherless. 1 he singing 
in the Russian churches is at all times imposing ; but to hear a hymn sung 
to a Russian sacred melody, by at least a thousand female voices, had in it 
something so irresistibly affecting, that nothing remained for the wayward 
heart but to yield to the general movement, to joni in tlie act ot praise, 

and leave a free course to tears. , ,. , , r. 

After this pious exercise all sat down, and a hvely buzz of conversation, 
accompanied by a brisk clattering of spoons, spread quickly through the 
hall. I was invited to taste the cheer. It happened to be a flist day, and 
the Russian viands on those occasions aie little calculated to flatter a 
German palate; still I found all as good and savoury as fish, ml, turnips 
and kapusta could well be made on such a day. Gigantic boilers and 
tureens rose by some invisible machinery from the kitchen below, and their 
contents were rapklly distributed among the plates, and found their way no 
less rapidly between the talkative lips for which they were intended. 

After the spectacle of the wards for sucldings, the great dming-room was 
a relief and consolation. I felt thankfid to God for those who were now 
old enouoh to help themselves to their food ; but it was melancholy to think 
that for each little head in that room, three sisters reposed m the cold 
churchyard. 



CHAPTER XVI. 



THE EXCHANGE. 



The Germans have cornipted a word of Latin origin into BOrse ; the 
Russians have adopted it from the Germans, and russianized it into 
Birsha; but this name is bestowed upon every place where persons 
roffularly meet for any objcct-among others, to the places where the 
isvoshtshiks stand while waiting for employment. I\^*^^ Petersburg it 
is, therefore, not enough to direct your sledge-dnver to the " Birsha (Lx- 
chan-e) ; you must say the Dutch Exchange, for so the i^agnificent 
buildTnff on Vassili Ostroff, where the merchants assemble, is called by the 
lower class of Russians, probably from the circumstance of the Dutch 
merchants, who were invited to St. Petersburg by Peter the Great, having 
had the first settlement, where now the representatives of every maritime 

nation are to be found. , , . ^ i .t v 

The Exchange of St. Petersburg is more favourably situated than many 

ffreat public buildings. It stands on the extreme point of Vassili Ostrott, 

with a noble open space before it, and is reared on elevated foundations. 



On either side the superb granite quays, that give solidity to the point of 
the island, divide the majestic river into two mighty arms, in which it 
flows in calm power to the right and left. Stately flights of granite steps 
lead down to the river. On the space before the building two massive 
" Columnar rostratje," above a hundred feet in height, and decorated with 
the prows of ships cast in metal, have been erected to the honour of Mer- 
cury. These columns are hollow ; and on the summits, which are reached 
by a flight of iron steps, are gigantic vases that are filled with combus- 
tibles on all occasions of public illumination. The erection of the whole, 
including the quays, occupied nearly twelve years, from 1804 to 1816, a 
most unheard-of period in St. Petersburg, where a copy of St. Peter's at Rome 
was " got up in two years," and a new imperial palace rose from its ashes 
in eleven months. The great hall of colossal proportions is lighted from 
above. At either end and on both sides are spaces in the form of arcades : 
in one of the first stands an altar, with lamps constantly burning, for the 
benefit of the pious Russian merchants, who always bow to the altar, and 
sometimes even prostrate themselves, on their entrance, to implore the 
favour of all the saints to their undertakings. The blue or green modem 
frock-coats of the worshippers form as curious a contrast with their long 
patriarchal beards as the altar itself with its steps covered with an elegant 
Parisian carpet, and its hideous age-blackened image of a saint, wliich 
none would venture to modernize any more than they would attempt to 
put the razor to the Russian mercantile chin. 

Among the foreigners forming part of the mercantile body the Germans 
are the most important, from then- great nmnbers and the amomit of 
business carried on by them. Vassili Ostroff, where they have whole 
lines of fine houses, and where almost every house of public entertainment 
and every shop has a German name over it, may be looked upon as a 
commercial colony of Germany. The first houses in St. Petersburg are 
English or German, the second rank is composed almost exclusively of the 
latter ; some of them date their estabUshment from the infancy of the 
city. The tone of society in these houses is extremely agreeable. With- 
out losing their nationality, the Germans have not disdained so much as 
the English to mingle with the Russians ; and their solidity of character 
and mental cultivation show to great advantage, in a setting of Russian 
suppleness of demeanour and northern hospitality. The English form a 
colony apart yet more than the Germans, who have many Russian subjects 
among their body, while the former remain always the " foreign guests," 
who in time of peace share the privileges of the natives without partaking 
of their burdens. They caU their body the St. Petersburg Factory. ^ They 
have their own church, and five secluded among themselves, despising all 
other nations, and more particularly their hosts, the Russians ; drive 
English equipages ; hunt the bear on the shores of the Neva, as they do 
the tiger on those of the Ganges ; decline taking their hats off to the em- 
peror ; and, looking down on all men, toast of their own indispensableness 
and their invincible fleets. They are, however, held in high consideration 
by the government and every one else — perhaps because they esteem them- 
selves so highly. The English inhabit chiefly the magnificent quay that 
bears their name, where, however, many opulent Russians also possess 
handsome houses. ^ . , 

Besides the English and Germans, who are in possession of the maritime 
commerce of St. Petersburg, every nation in Europe has its consul and 



118 



THE EXCHANGE. 



THE EXCHANGK 



119 



representatives. London excepted, there Is perhaps no other city in Europe 
in which all other nations have so great a commercial interest as in St. 
Petersburg. No Russian, either in St. Petersburg or any other part of 
the empire, engages in maritime trade ; he has neither the knowledge nor 
the connections necessary thereto, still less the true commercial spirit of 
enterprize. The nan-ow un-ideal nature of the Russian cannot free itself 
from its false estimation of the value of money, nor rise to an elevated 
view of the wants and nature of the times. Money is not, in his eyes, an 
instrument for the increase of credit and extension of the sphere of opera- 
tion ; the shining metal itself is the one and only object ; he can rarely 
prevail on himself to part with the money once clutched, or incur volun- 
tarily a small loss to ward off a greater. The Russian merchant must in 
every commercial undertaking grasp an immediate profit, be it ever so 
small, and will certainly never imitate that American owner of a steam- 
boat, who carried passengers in his vessel for a year together for nothing^ 
in order to drive his rivals out of the field, lie does not understand the 
German saying, " Gain time and gain all," still less the Enjilish mer- 
chant's proverb, " Time is money ;" but rather, like the Arabian mer- 
chant described by Burkhardt, the Russian will let years pass away in the 
hope of avoiding a temporary loss, without once calculating how much the 
delay eats into his capital by keeping it idle. In spite, however, of their 
false commercial system, the great mass of the worshippers in the temple 
of the Russian Plutus are wealthy; and, with all their fondness for money, 
no people bear commercial losses so easily as the Russians. Such a thing 
as suicide in consequence of failure in trade is never heard of among them, 
an occurrence but too common among us. This seeming contradiction is 
to be explained partly by the light temperament of the Russian, and partly 
by the fact that no Russian merchant considers his honour as a merchant, 
or his credit as a citizen, at all affected by his failure, simply because such 
things have no existence for him. " Bay s'nim" (God be with it), he 
says to his faithless treasure, and begins anew the erection of his card 

edifice. 

The centre on which the Exchange of St. Petersburg moves, the sun 
that makes the weather, the spnng that gives life and motion to all, is an 
offshoot of that remarkable race, from which for so many centuries the 

hierarchy of Mammon have had their origin. Baron S , who in St. 

Petersburg electrifies the Jiervus remm, is the Rothschild of Russia, 
without whose co-operation scarcely any great undertaking can have a 
beginning. The learned in these matters estimate the value of the light 
absorbed by this diamond at from 40 to 50 millions. His capital em- 
ployed in commerce by sea amounts to not less than 30 to 35 millions 
yearly. Immense sums have been expended by him in the purchase of 
estates in all parts of Russia, from the capital to the Black sea. His 
small bright eye, compact Napoleon figure, and old green great-coat, are 
to be seen daily in the centre of that system round which revolve the 
lesser planets in the shape of English, German, and French merchants. 

This commercial body of St. Petersburg is certainly the most numerous 
society of respectable and well-informed persons to be met with in Russia, 
without an order or a knightly cross on their breasts. Except the silver 
tokens worn by the sworn brokers, and some medals a good pound in 
weight, carried round the necks of some native merchants, nothing is to 
be seen but plain coats of black or green ; and the contrast between thi^ 



unpretending uniformity of appearance, and the gorgeous umforms of the 
Russian generals and courtiers, of the academicians and professors, whose 
gold-embroidered coats glitter with more testimonials of their abundant 
and superabundant merits than there are Alphas and Betas in Onon, is 
singular enough, whether pleasing or displeasing depends upon taste. 

The assembly, which is by no means in all its elements " gentleman- 
like," and where an Englishman may feel much silent disgust at the ob- 
trusive PoUsh Jew, Tartar, or Bokharian, is in the highest degree interest- 
ing to one who knows the interior of the country, and can rightly interpret 
the dumb pantomime, or listen to the long echo that a few words spoken 
in this hall, finds in the vast countries lying beyond. The broker notes 
down with a pencil some thousand cwts. of tallow ; on either side a 
nod is given, and sentence of death has gone forth against hundred^ of 
oxen grazing in imconscious innocence in their far father-land. What 
writing and talking— what hallooing to herdsmen— what toil and trouble 
—what a waste of breath and sweat of brow— what scenes of blood and 
slaughter, wiU have resulted from that simple nod, before the doomed fat 
can have found its way to the Neva, and from the Neva through the east, 
west, and northern seas to London,— tiU at last, in DubHn or Glasgow, or 
heaven knows what other comer of the earth, the order is given to John 
to bring in the candles, when the product of this thousand-fold turmoil 
wastes away into the all-dissolving element ! , • • r. 

" Gospodin MuUer and Co. don't you want some of my ship timber, 
I think you wiU be satisfied with what I can offer you," says a long-bearded 
caftan to a German great-coat with both hands in its pockets. ^ " We wiU 
try you, Gospodin Paulow. Note down for me 1200 mast tunbers hrst 
size, 6000 yards, and 3000 score of oak planks \\ foot broad and two 
inches thick," answers MuUer and Co. without a shadow of a thought 
of the myriads of wood-pigeons and owls which his reckless commission 
has driven forth nestless to the four winds of heaven ; of the chon^ ot 
hamadryads groaning under the strokes of the pitiless axes of the mthless 
peasants of Vologda and Viatka. In his inveterately prosaic fancy, does he 
even dream of the desolation that a few days wiU cause m those primeval 
forests, or among the gnomes and sylphs who have rejoiced for ages m then- 
shades ? MuUer and Co. know and care nothing about it.^ In a year 
and a half (for so long it must be before the mighty trees which the mer- 
chant's word of power have uprooted from their native soil wiU find their way 
through the watery veins of interior Russia) the timber wiU appear on the 
Neva : so much wiU then be put down to the credit, so much to the debit 
side of the account, due notice will be sent of its arrival in London, and 
little recks MuUer and Co. what flag shaU dare the breeze from, those lotty 
masts, what seas shaU be traversed by that timber, what rock shaU rend 
its strong sides asunder, or in what unknown depths of the Antarctic S^ea 
it shaU slowly decompose. The haU of the St. Petersburg Exchange is so 
large that the music of aU the regiments of guards might conveniently hnd 
an echo there ; but it is buUt for whispers only. What is spoken aloud are 
trifles : " How is your lady ?' " We had a charming day on the INeva. 
" A.'s is a good place to dine at." " I think it is more comfortable at 
B 's •" &c. But when a few heads are seen close together, speaking 
piano, pianissimo, and fencing off the circle so closely with their backs that 
a mouse could not make its way through, something more important is 
going on. •* It is too much: three thousand"—" four— five — " twenty 



120 



THE EXCHANGE. 



—a hundred thousand"—" October," « Novembei," '* London/* « Hull," 
« Baltimore"—" Well, Til take it"—" It's a bargain, Mr. Curtius." 

Mr. Curtius has sold 600 lasts of the finest Tula wheat, 200 lasts of 
the best linseed, 300 stone of Livonian flax, to Mr. O'lliggins. Those 
600 lasts of wheat have Imposed heavy burdens upon as many peasant 
families. With the argument of the stick many a poor Russian was driven 
to the field on account of that wheat ; and many of the hardy little race of 
horses, so numerous in the north, have sunk at last under the biu*den of 
hard work and harder blows. In harvest time all hands were at work day 
and night — mother and children, girls and boys; the infants screamed un- 
heeded in the dampgTass, the sick sighed untended in their huts. All this 
is nothing to O'lliggins and Curtius, who, leaving the hard-hearted land- 
owners to make up their account with heaven, are bent only on making u]) 
their own with their correspondents in London, where there are always 
more hungry people than in all Russia taken together ; and so at last the 
crust of bread finds its way to the mouth of the English beggar, who, as 
he eats it, might thus soliloquize : *' If our lordly landholders were not so 
marble-hearted, and if the St. Petersburg merchant did not require so large 
a profit for his daughters' equipage and his own wine-cellar, my crust 
would be a little larger."* 

Besides bread for the English, wood for the Dutch, tallow for the Scotch, 
flax and hemp are the two most important articles on the exchange of St. 
Petersburg ; and yet more is shipped from Riga, whose Dwina passes 
through the very centre of the flax producing countries. The ropes and 
cords shipped from St. Petersburg are to be found in the smallest shop 
of the smallest town in Germany. It may be literally asserted that half 
Europe lies in Russian bonds. A third part of all European chains are 
forged from Russian iron, from the enormous possessions of the Demidoff*s, 
Jakowleffs, and other Russian grandees, who are masters of whole 
branches of the Ural mountains. The value of the export of this bulky 
article, amounts, on an average, to 150 millions of rubles yearly. The 
tallow makes about a third of the export. After tallow, come linen, lin- 
seed, hemp, and cordage, about a fifth ; corn as much ; iron and copper, 
about a tenth : hides a twentieth ; wood, not much less ; and potash and 
oil in considerable fractions. 

The value of foreign merchandise brought to St. Petersburg, in from 
loOO to 1700 vessels (half of them English), surpasses that of the 
native goods destined for exportation, by 30 to 40 millions. This rela- 
tion of the imports to the exports is correct only in reference to St. 
Petersburg, as all other Russian ports export incomparably more than 
they import. Among the chief articles of import are sugar and English 
cotton goods, these two articles forming nearly one-half; the next in 
amount is champagne, of which a larger quantity circulates through Rus- 
sian veins, than through those of any other people.* St. Petersburg, 
and that half of the empire which the capital supplies, does not consume 
so much cofi*ee as the kingdom of Bavaria alone. Tea has almost super- 
seded it. Tobacco is imported to the amount of eight millions, silk four 
millions, fruit two millions, cheese one million. Many of these articles 
may appear insignificant in amount, considering the extent of country 
furnished with them from the capital ; an extent comprising one-half of 



Yearly about 600,000 bottles, which in Russia arc sold for 9,000,000 rubles. 



THE EXCHANGE. 



121 



the empire ; but it is exceedingly large, when we consider that they arc 
destined for the consumption of a few hundred thousand of the cpulent 
classes, who alone enjoy these articles of luxury. On an average, these 
imports pay 33 per cent, duty, a third of the whole value. 

There can be no question, but that if this thud, m the shape of duty, 
were done away with, the trade would be double or triple Avhat it now is. 
A man in moderate circumstances would live three times as cheap as he 
does now, miUions more would be enabled to partake of these foreign 
comforts of hfe, and the raw produce of Russia would be much cheaper, 
and exported in much greater quantities than it now is. Agriculture, the 
breeding of cattle, and the growth of timber, would improve the popula- 
tion, the income of the private man would increase, the powers ot the soil 
be augmented, roads and canals would become better, the land would 
rise in value, the enormous estates would be divided, and even the trea- 
smy of the emperor would gain in the end, though it might sufi^er a httle 

The* unnatural and costly manufactures, which after aU are most im- 
perfect in their results, would be given up, and the energies of the people 
would naturally direct themselves to the improvement of those branches 
of industry suited to them and to the circumstances of the countr)\ 

The whole trade of St. Petersburg with foreign countries employs a 
yearly capital of about three hundred milHons. About seventy-five or 
ei-hty millions may be reckoned to the account of the " foreign guests 
(innostranniye gostui), and the rest (two hundred and twenty millions ) to 
the natives, or subjects of the empire (Russian, German, French, Swedish, 
&c. &c.). There are several houses in St. Petersburg which turn yearly 
a capital of from ten to twenty millions, or about one-third of the whole 
trade of Riga.* Commerce has increased amazingly in activity during 
this century, in spite of the oppressive burden of the customs.t ^ 

The most active agents between the Neva and foreign lands, during 
the first half of the last century, were the Dutch ; since that time the 
English. The first ship that entered the port of St. Petersburg was 
from Holland, the same on board of which Peter the Great studied navi- 
gation. It was received with extraordinary marks of honour, and had 
the privilege conferred on it of bringing whatever cargo it carried, duty 
free,' into the empire. This privilege ceased at the end of the last ^n- 
tury. as it was no longer possible to render the old ship sea-worthy. The 
first vessel that enters in May, like the swallow, announcing spring, after 
a seven months' winter, is still received with great tokens of joy, and is 
much favoured. In the first year of its existence, till 1720, St. Peters- 
burg saw only from 12 to 50 ships yearly ; from 1720' to 1730, from 
100to2oO; from 1730 to 1750, 300 to 400 on an average; and this 
century 2000. The Ukase of Peter the Great, forbidding importation 
for the interior through Arkhangel, and another commanding every mer- 
chant to ship a third of his merchandise for exportation from the Neva, 

* There are about one hundred and fifty wholesale houses trading beyond 
sea in St. Petersburg ; twenty or twenty-four EngUsh, five French, one Spanish, 
and nearly one hundred German. « The English have the compactest, most sohd, 
and prettiest business," as a merchant once observed to me. , , , , 

t At the close of the last century, from eight hundred to nme hundred vessels 
enteral the port of St. Petersburg yearly. At present nearly two thousand is the 
number. 



122 



THE EXCHANGE. 



INDUSTRY. 



123 



have not alone contributed to this rapid advance ; a glance at the geo- 
graphical position of St. Petersburg will convince every one that it must 
sooner or later have obtained for itself all the advantages that these 
ukases were intended to confer on it. 

The custom-house, at whose quay all vessels not drawing more than 
nine foot water can conveniently land their cargoes, is to the west of the 
Exchange, on the lesser Neva, and close to it are enormous magazines, 
crowded with every species of property. Directly behind the exchange 
is a large open space fenced with iron-railing, where, the whole year 
through, and exposed to all changes of the atmosphere, immense quan- 
tities of merchandise, even of a kind very liable to injury, such as sugar, 
are kept in the open air. Throughout all Russia, even in Riga, in the 
midst of the marl^et-places, we find such rough deposits of wares. The 
custom probably obtained from the coarse nature of the chief articles of 
Russian exportation, timber, hides, tallow, leather, &c., for which a mat 
or a tarred cloth was always a sufficient protection. Here is often to be 
seen in one yard, under such tarpawlings, and kept from the bare earth 
merely by planks, — copper, lead, iron, sugar, wine, &c., for months toge- 
ther, exposed to snow, rain, and sunshine ; lead enough to kill all the 
crows in the world, if a three -pounder were wanted for every one of them ; 
sugar enough to sweeten the lake of Ladoga ; spice and incense to embalm 
the whole empire ; and the choicest woods of Brazil and the West Indies. 

In spring, when the navigation is just opened, a fair of a very peculiar 
kind is held in the place behind the exchange^ and hither, to the con- 
siderable profit of many a seaman and trader, tbrong all classes of 
society in St. Petersburg, to enjoy a long-looked for pleasure. Here are 
displayed such foreign productions as are held too insignificant to become 
regular articles of commerce, and which fall to the lot of the ship's cap- 
tain and crew. Paroquets and other rare birds, monkeys, baboons, and 
such hke animals, sometimes kept as pets in great houses, splendidly 
coloured plants from the tropical climates, scream, chatter, and flare toge- 
ther. Here are to be found rare shells for the curious in conchology, 
strange looking utensils and garments from savage countries, and some- 
times a ship -master may be seen leading about a negro-boy, to dispose of, 
if not exactly as a slave, at least to make a profit of his services, in the 
house of some person of consequence. After the dead, silent, colourless 
winter, there is an extraordinary charm in this noisy, gaudy tumult, the 
first gift of foreign shores to the far northern city ; it is like a hansel to a 
trader commencing business, and the wares go off merrily, particularly the 
screaming and grimacing portion of them. 



CHAPTER XVII. 



INDUSTRY. 



We have before remarked that in Russia all foreign produce is for the 
most part vended by foreigners; and that the trade in the arts and 
manufactures of Western Europe is completely separate from the properly 



Russian and oriental traffic. St. Petersburg is, from its position and its 
privUeffes, almost the only port which supplies Russia, with jewellery, 
watches, wines, cloths, laces, silkwares, cotton, &c. Hence there are m St. 
Petersburg astounding quantities of such articles, and great magazines 
are formed, which are either really the parent stocks of like establishments 
in the pro\dncial cities, or are at least the cause of their existence ; the 
dealers, meanwhile, form regular colonies of foreign artisans, foreign 
artists or traffickers in the productions of foreign art throughout the 
whole empire ; that is to say, through half Europe, and half Asia. From 
this peculiarity of position, these foreign traders must be regarded not 
merely as traders, but as in a high degree the servants of civihzation, and as 
such they enter a society to which they could have no pretension else- 
where ; and possessing thus a weight and influence they could not otherwise 
lay claim to, they desei-ve in a particular manner the notice of the traveller. 

According to the views of the ordinary Russian the whole European 
world is divided into two parts, into " Nashe Storona" (our side) and 
" Vashe Storona" (your side), under which latter denomination he includes 
all Europe that is not Russian.* ^ 

This other half of Europe he also calls " the foreign land, and has a gene • 
ral idea that all within it is of a superior kind, the people particularljr excel- 
lent, nature extraordinarily beautiful, the productions of art and industry 
irreproachable. Thence come those " Inostranzi," or foreigners, those 
wise people, who understand every thing better than he does, and from 

whom he learns so much. 

These Inostranzi, whose first appearance by no means dates trom^ Peter 
I., but who had settlements in different cities of the empire centuries be- 
fore his time, were always a privileged race, if not by imperial ordon- 
nance, as they have been since John Basilovitch, yet by their own supe- 
riority. Their freedom dates mostly from Peter the Great and Catherme, 
and although some attempts have been made since to limit it, yet it may 
be asserted on the whole, that they enjoy aU the privileges of the subject, 
without sharing his burdens. Without paying taxes, without furnishing 
recruits, not subject to any guild or corporation, they may work and trade 
freely from city to city, throughout the whole empire. In our German 
cities the poor foreigner finds himself horribly restrained in comparison 
with the native ; we may almost say persecuted and oppressed ; whilst 
in Russia it is the foreig-ner whose privileges are to be envied. Not only 
private persons, but the authoriries, when it is said of any one "on 
Inostranez" (he is a foreigner), think themselves bound to greater civility 

of demeanour. _ . „ 

" Ya Inostranez (I am a foreigner), off with your hat, Russian, says 
the German, and " I beg your pardon, honourable sir," answers the Rus- 
sian, and takes his hat off. It is natural enough that an " Inostranez 
should seek to retain, as long as possible, a predicate which entitles him to 
such distinctions. The Russian as naturally seeks to incorporate the 
inostranzi with the subjects of the empire. Now and then there appear 
an edict that all foreigners who have been settled for a certain penod 
in any part of the empire, shall without ceremony swear allegiance to 
the Russian flag, which puts them aU in a fright. As a merchant or an 



^j 



* In this sense, a Russian, speaking of a certain professor, a native of Hungary, said 
to me " You must know liim very well, he is from your side." 



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artisan who has not obtained any particular rank (" Tshin") by any ser- 
vice to the state, could not register himself in any other class than that 
of merchant or citizen, and as such would be Uable to military ser- 
vice, the discijiline of the stick, and other pleasm'es of the same kind, 
every device of course is tried to avoid the sentence. On the appear- 
ance of such edicts, some leave the empire for a time, and come back 
with new passports as newly arrived foreigners ; others contrive to pro- 
cure these passports without leaving the country, or slip through in some 
other way, and so manage to transmit their pri\dleges to their children, 
who are also registered as foreigners. 

An *^ Inostranez," if he be only in some degree a man " commc il 
fauty^ if he can lay aside his German bashfulness, dress well, play at 
cards, talk nonsense in the right tone, or make a fool of himself in any 
other decent fashion, may reckon upon being half classed among the 
nobles throughout Russia, and invited to parties from which in any other 
country his calling would exclude him. In the interior it is not uncom- 
mon to meet the German apothecary's assistants among the dancers at 
the balls and assemblies of the nobility, and even in St. Petersburg it happens 
sometimes that a foreign knight of the yard may lead out his partner to the 
dance in the very same gown which he himself measured out for her some 
days before. It would be strange if these people did not assume a little 
upon the strength of these advantages ! They drive out with as many 
horses as the law allows, furnish their cellars with champagne, give balls 
and card parties which are graced by the presence of court and state 
comisellors ; their daughters aim at the epaulets of colonels and major- 
generals, and their sons sigh for the daughters of officials and landed i)ro- 
prietors. 

Formerly all productions of foreign art or invention were imported ; in 
later years the extraordinary dexterity of the Russian of the lower class, 
and the very moderate price of his services, have induced the estabhsh- 
ment of many Russian manufactures, which the government has sought 
to protect by many severe prohibitive measures against foreign productions. 
These new brandies of activity are partly the work of foreigners settled 
in Russia, and favoured by the government, partly of the great landowners, 
and partly of the immediate influence of the crown. 

The landholders liave thus turned to account their large unemployed 
capital of money — and serfs, and established manufactories on their own 
ground, under the management of their own slaves. Many branches of 
industry have become so much practised in the villages of the greater 
landholders, that many merely corn-producing hamlets have been changed 
into large manufactories. Some of the peasants, not content to work only 
in their lord's manufactory, carry on spinning, weaving, grinding, and 
pressing on their own account, and have thus grown into persons of pro- 
perty. The well-known iron-forging villages belonging to the family of 
SheremetiefF, where some of the artisan peasants have become millionanes, 
are not alone in this respect. All the fairs and markets of interior Russia 
are flooded with paper, iron goods, cups, tea-pots, &c. of the Demidoflfs, 
Jakowsleffs, Karpzofts, &c. The wares are, however, below mediocrity in 
quality, although in outward appearance, particularly where show and 
gilding are required, they are close imitations of foreign workmanship. 
Those who understand the articles know these Russo- European manufac- 
tures at once by their plausible exterior, coupled with their utter worth- 



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lessness in essential points. Their imitation of oriental workmanship on 
the other hand, is extraordinarily good of its kind. 

These mighty influential manufacturing aristocrats are in many cases 
the great obstacles to the improvement of the manufactures by means of 
smaller but more skilful producers, who are now quite shut out from com- 
petition by the jirivileged monopolists. In this respect the Russian aristo- 
cracy stand in the same relation to the manufacturing industry, as the 
English aristocracy do to the agricultural. In England, where the import- 
ation of raw produce is so greatly needed, the sole proprietorship of the 
soil by the powerful aristocracy not only makes bread dear, but prevents 
the improvement of agriculture. In Russia, where there is a superfluity of 
raw produce, but a want of manufactures, the aristocracy manufacturing 
for themselves have demanded a high tax on the foreign article, and, 
partly because their social position gives them a natural preponderance, 
partly because for the advancement of some particular branch of industry 
they unite to obtain monopolies from their government, a bar is placed to 
the invention and acquisition of the other classes, who moreover must pay 
nmch dearer for the necessary manufactures on that very account. 

St. Petersburg reckons within its walls, and in its neighbourhood, the 
largest and most magnificent industrial establishments, particularly those 
which produce the more unusual and costly articles, and the workmanship 
is infinitely superior to any thing that has hitherto been produced in other 
parts of Russia. Among them may be enumerated the cotton -spinning, 
cotton-printing, dyeing, glass and looking-glass manufactories, the can- 
non foundries, the Gobelin tapestry establishment, and those for cutting 
and polishing precious stones, paper and fire-arms. All these are the 
property either of foreigners or of the crown, under the management of 
foreigners, and serve as patterns and examples to the whole empire. 

All these estabHshments are readily shown to strangers ; partly because, 
as they are only imitations of what has long been known in other countries, 
they contain no mystery, and partly because Russian hospitality does not 
readily allow them to refuse the request of a foreigner. Hence many a 
thing, in this distant region, becomes known to the curious stranger, that 
has been churlishly hidden from him in his native land. 

It is characteristic of Russia, which possessed universities before it had 
schools, that establishments for the manufacture of costly carpets should be 
thought of before they had learned to spin cotton. The " Spalernoi 
manufactory," where the Gobelin tapestry is made, is the oldest in St. 
Petersburg, as the academy founded by Peter the First is the oldest school. 
In Peter's time, the workmen were one and all French and Italians. 
Within the last fifty years they have been all Russians, the Director, of 
course, excepted, who is an Italian, and the designer a Frenchman. The 
establishment is recruited from the great Foundling Hospital, which gives 
yearly a certain number of boys, who are taught weaving and draw- 
ing in the house, and gradually work themselves up to sub-masters and 
masters. 

Ordinary carpets are made here for sale, but the real Gobelin tapestry 
is destined for the court alone. The opulence of the Russian court in 
palaces creates a constant demand for these productions, which are also 
often sent as presents to Asiatic and European potentates. In 1836 there 
were in the manufactory 24 masters and under masters, 52 workmen, and 
as many apprentices ; it is, perhaps, the largest existing establishment for 



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this branch of industry, which is now rather out of fashion in other parts of 
the world. 

The little boys work at high frames, first at leaves and flowers in one colour ; 
then they advance to shaded and veined leaves with several colours, then 
to stars, arabesques, and so on. Their work is one of the most tedious in the 
world. The drawings are placed directly behind perpendicular tlu-eads, 
and while the outline of the picture is traced with a black coal, it is trans- 
ferred to the threads and the limits of the different tints marked out. 
Every three or four weeks, papers are fastened over the web, and as it is 
finished it is rolled up, that it may not be injured during the tedious process 
of manufacture. We saw several magnificent pictures finished. Among 
others, Peter the Great and his consort, like oil paintings in gold frames ; 
on Catherine's, which was valued at 6000 rubles, were the words, 
" Natshatoye sobershayet," (The Begun — she completed). The work- 
manship of the precious stones in the crown and sceptre of the empress 
was perfect ; it was wonderful to see how exactly the soft lustrious gleam 
of the pearls, the splendour of the gold, and the fire of the precious stones, 
were represented in coloured threads. Here and there, for the high lights, 
silk had been introduced, and then again to render the soft vanishing of 
the tints, the wool was scraped, and a downy velvet-like surface given to 
the web. It is certain that with this kind of pictorial representation, effects 
may be produced beyond the power of the brush, either in oil or water- 
colours. This was particularly remarkable in a great picture representing 
the well-known incident of Peter the Great overtaken by a storm on the 
lake of Ladoga, and bidding the terrified steersman, " trust in God and 
him." The force of the dark colours, the fullness of light and shade, the 
tone and power of the whole, are astonishing. Another picture was a copy 
of one in the Hermitage, " Alexander the Great in the tent of Darius's 
mother ;" and a smaller one after Gerard Dow, displayed the capabilities 
of this art in the cabinet and miniature style. In these, silk, flax, and 
wool were employed ; the brightness of the silk, the neutral effects of the 
flax, and the power of the wool, all rendered their several services. 
This woven painting, if not so enduring, is much richer than mosaic, which 
it resembles more nearly than it does any thing else. 

The Petersburgers carry the use of looking-glasses to a high pitch of 
luxury. The houses and their colossal windows, that make them look like 
crystal palaces, have been before mentioned. In garden pavilions, a wiiolo 
wall is sometimes composed of glass, behind which the ladies sit like so 
many Princesses Snow-drop in the fairy tale. In private houses the bare 
walls are likewise covered with enormous looking-glasses instead of pictures, 
as with us : presenting at every turn the pictme most admired by many, — 
that of their own persons. The greater part, or rather all these glasses, 
come from the imperial manufactory, which is also a manufactory for 
cutting and blowing glass. It is situate with its extensive supplementary 
buildings, and villages for the workmen belonging to it, in the neighbour- 
hood of the Alexander Nevsky cloister. In the magazines of the factory 
there are stores of looking-glasses of various magnitudes, such as are hardly 
to be met with elsewhere ; among them, not as any thing unusual, but as 
glasses for ordinary sale, are some eight feet wide, fifteen feet long, and 
an inch and a half thick. Venus and Diana, with their retinue, had they not 
the clear brooks and smooth lakes of Greece, might envy the St. Peters- 
burg beauties. The manufactory itself, however, as well as its productions, 



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127 



is to be looked upon more as an article of luxury than as the milch cow that 
a manufactory ought to be, for so many failures occur among these 
^gantic fragilities, that the profit on them can be but small. More is 
probably gained on the smaller articles, such as the very cmiously cut glass 
eggs, which are used as Easter presents, and the ** Nargiles" (water vases), 
tlu-ough which the Eastern smoker loves to cool the fumes of his tobacco. 
Of these the Persians sometimes purchase to the amount of 50,000 rubles, 
and more. These fragile wares have (by the way) to be transported hy 
land from five to six hundred (German) miles, which could not take place 
any where but in transport-loving Russia. 

The glass-cutting department is perhaps the largest in the world ; 
there are not less than three hundred workmen employed in this screech- 
ing, scratching, crushing, cracking, crashing, detestable labour. If the 
torture to which the ears of the workmen are subjected, the whole day 
long, does not totally deaden them to all harmony, a song, after their 
work is over, must be a heavenly enjoyment. It is singular enough that 
this manufactory should excel less in the fineness and accuracy of the 
cutting, than in the boldness and dexterity with which castings on a large 
scale are executed. Much work is done here for the Russian churches, in 
which balustrades and frameworks of glass are greatly in fashion. 

The following anecdote of the inventive spirit of a Russian was related 
to me. 

The emperor wished to illmninate the Alexander column in a grand 
style ; the size of the round lamps was indicated, and the glasses bespoken 
at tliis manufactory, where the workmen exerted themselves in vain, and 
almost blew the breath out of their bodies in the endeavour to obtain the 
desired magnitude. The commission must be executed, that was self-evi- 
dent ; but how ? A great premium was offered to whoever should solve 
this problem. Again the human bellows toiled and puffed, their object 
seemed miattainable ; when at last a long-bearded Russian stepped for- 
ward, and declared that he could do it ; he had strong and sound lungs, 
he would only rince his mouth first with a Uttle cold water to refresh 
them. He applied his mouth to the pipe, and puffed to such purpose that 
the vitreous ball swelled and swelled nearly to the required dimensions, 
up to it, beyond it. " Hold, hold,** cried the lookers on, "you are 
doing too much, and how did you do it at all ?" " The matter is simple 
enough," answered the long-beard ; " but first, where is my premium ?** 
And when he had clutched the promised bounty he explained. He had 
retained some of the water in his mouth, which had passed thence into 
the glowing ball, and there becoming steam, had rendered liim this good 
service. 

It is a known fact, that some of the transplanted branches of industry 
have attained a higher degree of perfection in Russia, than in the country 
whence they were brought. Sealing-wax is one of these, which can no 
where, out of England, be obtained better than in Russia. The same 
may perhaps be said of the paper from the Peterhof manufactory. 

"When the Emperor Alexander was in England, in 1815, he invited 
English paper manufacturers to Russia, who formed this establishment, for 
which they brought the necessary machinery from their own coimtry. 
Not less than 70,000 reams of paper, of all sorts, the finer particularly, 
are made here yearly. The coarser kinds are abimdantly furnished by 
the inland manufactories. AU the most dehcate and daintiest materials 



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129 



that lovers or ladies can desire, whereon to waft their compliments and 
sighs, are here to be had in abundance and in immense variety. 

The Russians greatly esteem an elegant handwriting, and like to have 
paper and envelope worthy of it. The queer shaped, scrav.led, and 
smeared epistles that sometimes pass through the German post, are never 
seen in the hands of a Russian. The workmen, 800 in number, arc sup- 
plied from the Foundling Hospital, all dressed in snow-white, like so 
many cooks, with paper caps of their own fancy on their heads. The 
execution of the English machines is like witchcraft ; thrown in at one 
side a slimy chaos, the matter comes out firm and perfect paper at the 
other. We were told in the manufactory, that Russia had already been 
able to acknowledge her obligations to England, by sending tliithcr no 
small quantity of paper. It is also sent to America. 

Under the same roof with the paper manufactory, is the imperial esta- 
blislunent for the cutting and polishing of precious stones. The wealth 
of the Ural and Altai mountains in these costly articles, and the active 
search for them, are likely to increase the amount of labour performed in 
this establishment. In no court in the world aie such quantities of jewels 
employed as in the Russian. The number of orders and crosses worn on 
the uniforms of the nobles leads already to an enormous consumption. 
Still greater is that caused by the rings, bracelets, and other ornaments 
lavished as marks of imperial favour. The emperor and empress scarcely 
go any where without leaving behind them some testimonies of satisfac- 
tion in the shape of jewels ; reversing the eastern custom, where the 
smaller must pay this homage to the greater luminary. When they travel, 
a jewel casket, destined for this purpose, and which rarely comes biick un- 
emptied, is always among their baggage. If these gifts were always 
faithfully preserved, and not turned into money again, as they generally 
are, all the diamond mines of Brazil and the east would not be able to 
supply the constant demand. 

The most beautiful and the most peculiar objects here produced, how- 
ever, are the large and magnificent malachite vases, the material for which 
is yielded by Siberia. Nowhere else is this beautiful substance found in 
such large and piure masses ; some of these vases are valued at a himdred 
thousand rubles. 

Some very splendid specimens of vases of tliis kmd are also afforded by 
the imperial porcelain manufactory, which, however, vies less than any 
other with similar establishments in other countries. It is situate near 
Alexandrovsk, where there is also an iron-foundry. The latter is erected 
in a style of great elegance, but yields in the excellence of workmanship 
to an estabUshment of the same kind in St. Petersburg, belonging to an 
Englishman of the name of Bcarth. Even the government finds it neces- 
sary to entrust any important commission, not to its own manufactory, but 
to Mr. Bearth's. 

The vast and important establishments of this Englishman are behind 
the new Admiralty, where there are a sugar refinery, works for cutting 
timber, and the iron-foundry. For the transport of the raw material, and 
the completed work, as well as for the ten steam-boats which Mr. Bearth 
owns, and which are employed as passage-boats between Cronstadt and 
St. Petersburg, he has constmcted a harbour on his own account. Several 
steam-engines are employed in cutting the timber ; and in order that 
planks may be furnished to meet tlie demand at all times of the year, the 



canal in which the beams float is heated in winter by steam-pipes, that 
the water may never freeze. The whole year through, the greedy saw .is 
at work, demolishing what in the forests of Mordwina and Viatka was 
the production of centuries ; and countless are the numbers of planks 
destined to spring beneath the feet of the dance-lovhig beauties of St. 
Petersburg, till the red light on the steeples of St. Petersburg announces 
their end in one of the numerous conflagrations of the city. 

The sugar-refinery is not shown to any one, because the immense con- 
sumption of Mr. Bearth's sugar is the result of the employment of some 
substitute for bullock's -blood in the purification of the sugar, and the 
nature of this substitute is a secret. The pious scruples of the Russians 
were carried to so extravagant a pitch, that they renounced the use of 
sugar during their fasts, on account of the small quantity of animal sub- 
stance used in the refining. No sugar but that bearing the stamp of 
Bearth is ever seen on the table during the fasts, because none of the for- 
bidden animal juice is employed in its fabrication. It is used, therefore, 
throughout Russia, on the Steppes of the south, and in the steril neigh- 
bourhood of the Obi and the Irtish, where it fetches a most astounding 
price. 

The largest cotton-spinning estabUshment in the city was erected a few 
years ago by Baron Stieglitz. It is worked by an enormous EngUsh 
steam-engine of 110 horse power, the largest of the kind in the east of 
Europe, and must give the people from east Europe and Asia who throng 
to St. Petersburg, a marvellous idea of the inventive genius of the English, 
and of the boldness of the human spirit. Let any one think for a moment of 
110 labouring horses, with their 440 weaiy legs, the smacking of whips, 
the clatter and jingle of the harness, and the waste of breath in bawling 
and cursing, and then come and admire the grand and simple motion of 
the steam-engine, the gentle, easy, noiseless movement of its oil-smeared 
giant arms. The machine stands in a great hall, with cast-iron balus- 
trades and steps around, from which one can admire at leisure the superb 
play of the muscles of this mighty iron man. 

The director is Mr. Greig, an Englishman, from whom we wished to ob- 
tain permission to inspect the manufactory. In vain we inquired for him ; 
no one knew any such person. " Had we permission from Mr. Feodor 
Rovanovitsch ?" (Frederick Robert's son.) Luckily, Feodor Rovanovitsch, 
who was no other than the elegantly-dressed Mr. Greig himself, and 
whose family name the Russian, as usual, knew liOthing about, entered 
at that moment, and was kind enough to show us the place himself. The 
fresh and healthy exterior of the workmen compared with the depraved, 
miserable, sickly appearance of the manufacturing population in France, 
Belgium, and Germany, was striking. The light-tempered Russian never 
remains so long in one kind of employment as to be injured by it. Neither 
is the t}Tanny of the master-manufacturers so systematic here as in other 
countries. 

The most important manufactory on the Viborg side is conducted by a 
German, who related many interesting anecdotes of the various nations 
who had representatives among his 1000 workmen. He made use of the 
Finns wherever much patience and little movement was required, where 
knots and entanglement required a gentle finger ; but tlie Russians, who 
are apt to untie knots after the fashion of Alexander the Great, were 
mostly employed where speed and activity were wanting. He further 



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told us that nearly half of his workmen were employed in giving to clotliS, 
Manchester cottons, &c., a brighter and more showy outside, without 
which the Russians and people of Asia do not value them. The hnest 
goods are subjected to rough handling for this purpose, and literally go 
through fire and water, to the great injury, one would think, of their m- 

trinsic worth. 

Within the last ten years, establishments for making mathematical 
instruments have been founded by German mechanicians. I saw the 
workshop of one, where sixteen journeymen were employed ; four were 
iJlaced there as apprentices by the crown. It is worthy of remark, that 
many parts of the instruments were worked in platina, which metal 
the Russians need not be sparing of, and which will one day obtain a 
decided preference for their instruments. 

For the fashionable world, one of the gTandcst establishments to be 
seen any where is the so-called English magazine. It was begun many 
years ago by some English people, and hence its name, though neither the 
proprietors nor all the goods are any longer English. One apartment is 
devoted to jewellery of all kinds, and of a splendour and abundance 
rarely seen in a royal collection. Another contains every possible re- 
quisite of the toilette, for which an active correspondence is kept up with 
Paris, London, and Vienna, to obtain the newest and best from those 
centres of fashion. As it is decreed by the world of fashion, that nothing 
is good or wearable but what is bought here, all sorts of things are sold, 
the rarest and the commonest ; from diamonds of the first water, down to 
shoe-blacking, which last article is so elegantly put up, that the wealthiest 
prince need not disdain to put it in his pocket. ^ 

A great part of these wares are now made in St. Petersburg. The 
proprietors keep a multitude of foreign artists and workmen in their 
pay, who work for them alone, and thus the credit of the magazine w 
maintained, and the things pass for foreign, though the pubhc very well 
know that not half the things labelled as from Paris or London ever saw 
either Paris or London. 

The prices of the goods sold in this shop are enormous, and would 
appear ridiculous in any other city. Here, where money is but little 
valued, many a one is glad enough to be rid of his useless bank-notes in 
exchange for some pretty thing that pleases his fancy for a time at least, 
and when the shopkeeper assures his patrons that he has sold every thing 
at the lowest possible price, and only so low because they are constant 
customers, they are goodnatured enough to believe him. When we con- 
sider, however, that the people behind the counter are gentlemen who can 
answer in every language in Europe ; that the magazine pays 1000 
rubles rent for every window, and that every bronze lamp that remains 
half a year unsold may be said to cost 100 rubles merely for warehouse- 
room, the prices demanded will appear less extravagant. 

The furniture magazine of Gamb, a very celebrated one of its kind, was 
founded by a simple Swabian carpenter of that name, but, as in Russia, 
every workshop easily becomes a manufactory ; his three sons, who are 
only his successors, elegant young St. Petersburgers, carry on the business 
wholesale, and keep fifty or sixty cabinet-makers constantly employed, 
besides many sculptors, carvers in wood, painters, and designers. In then- 
magazine, goods are displayed to the value of millions ; some of the rooms, 
a thing particularly desirable in Russia, are filled with portable household 



furniture of every description for the use of travellers. Here are complete 
beds bedsteads, and every thing else packed in chests four-and-a-half feet 
long, three-quarters of a foot wide, and four inches high ; a tent with 
chairs, tables, and every accommodation for sitting, lying, dining, or sleep- 
ing, all packed up in one chest. The proprietors have naturally become 
inventive in this branch ; for the spoiled children of fortune are continually 
leaving luxurious St. Petersburg for the steppes of the Pontus, for the in- 
hospitable Caucasus, or the Siberian deserts, and are glad to be able to take 
with them some of the accustomed conveniences of civilized life packed up 
among their luggage. 

The only kind of bergere that the Messrs. Gamb have excluded from 
their magazine is that in which man enjoys the softest and most undis- 
turbed of all slumbers — his coffin. Many other magazines furnish them 
in abundance. These melancholy commodities are piled up by himdreds 
for all religions, ranks, and ages ; black with golden crosses for the pro- 
testants; brown and light colours for the Russians of the Greek church ; 
small rose-coloured ones, with white lace, for young girls ; azure blue for 
boys. As the dead are always laid out immediately in Russia, coffins 
must be kept ready made, and in considerable numbers, to afford a choice. 
There are about 250 wine and beer cellars in St. Petersburg. Those 
only frequented by the lower classes have any thing interesting or cha- 
racteristic about them. Here are sold beer, mead, spirituous liquors, and 
bad wine, and here also people say what they think of themselves and 
of the pictures that adorn the walls. These pictures offer the stranger 
many facilities for studying the national character of the Russians. In the 
most glaring colours are represented the ideas of the lower-classes on the 
most important subjects of human thought; the Deity, heaven, hell, the 
soul, and the creation of the world, without some reference to which, 
steeped as they are in fanaticism and ascetic practices, they would not 
venture even to swallow a mouthful of beer. These kind of tap-rooms 
are usually papered with such pictures like a show-box. The study of 
them is the more interesting because they are in general very old, and 
with many of them not the slightest deviation from old established t3^es 
is ever permitted. They are generally the production of the church 
painters of Moscow and Kieff, in which cities, under the shadow of the 
most ancient and most sacred temples of Russia, this kindred branch of 
industry is still in high preservation, and the fancy they display is exceed- 
ingly lively and orientally grotesque. You may see, for example, the day 
of creation depicted on an enormous scale. On the upper part Chaos is 
represented by dark, vigorous strokes ; morass, water, and unformed 
masses of rock in fearful confusion ; over it lowers a thick dark cloud, 
made palpable by a single stroke of the brush ; in the midst hovers the 
Creator under the physiognomy of a Russian priest, from whose mouth 
proceeds the creative, " Be thou," scrawled in the old Slavonian cha- 
racter ; and beneath it the sun and the stars glide out of Chaos, the sun 
closely resembling a Medusa's head, attended by the moon and the seven 
greater planets. By every star its name is written in the Slavonian 
character. All the other stars are running after a solid blue beam, which 
represents the firmament. They revolve, sun and all, about the earth, of 
which a portion, the Garden of Eden, is indicated on the lower part of 
the canvass, and on it smiles the sun, his rays indicated by a multitude of 
yellow stripes crossing one another. On either side over Paradise, clouds 

K 2 



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are heaped ; from one half fall thick spots as hlaclc as ink, near which is 
written, " rain," and out of the other an equally generous allowance of 
white dahs, with " snow,*' written in great letters on the other side ; for 
a Russian can hardly picture to himself Paradise without snow. Round 
about Paradise runs a garland of mountains, some of whose summits reach 
the stars. The less a Russian knows of mountains, the more liberally his 
fancy paints them. The edges of the mountains are abundantly sprinkled 
with flowers, of ever}' colour of the rainbow, and almost as big as the moun- 
tains themselves. I3etween every two flowers stands regularly a tree, the 
tree sometimes overshadomng the flowers, and sometimes the flowers over- 
shadowing tlie tree, and near them several times inscribed the words, "the 
blooming flowers, the blooming flowers." In the middle of the garden, Adam 
and Eve are kneeling, a Russian and his wife ; close to them, a fountain, 
breathed on by two swollen -cheeked cherub-heads, signifying the air, and 
dancing over it, a gigantic will-o'-the-wisp indicating fire. All around, 
in the tumultuous excitement of creation's dawn, all the creatures of nature 
and fancy seem to be bellowing ; all the birds, real and unreal, the elephant, 
tlie lion, the uniconi, the seducing serpent, the leviathan, the hare, the 
carp, the fish of Jonas, the four beasts of the Apocalypse, rats and mice. 
The whole picture is in a frame of arabesques of wreaths and heads of 
saints and angels. 

In this style all the pictures are done. Mount Athos, so renowned in 
the Russian Greek church, is never represented with less than a hundred 
and fifty churches and convents on it, and every church has at least a 
dozen cupolas. When Mount Sinai is represented, it is like Pelion on 
Ossa, and Ossa on Olympus ; a column of mountains with an exceedingly 
pointed summit reaching to Sirius with Moses on the top. 

Among the many things to interest strangers in St. Petersburg, the 
booksellers* shops are not the most imimportant. The firm of Brieff and 
Grafe is the oldest of the German houses, by whom the greater part of the 
German and French books that have appeared in Russia have been pub- 
lished. The first Russian bookseller is decidedly Smirdin. One cannot 
but be astonished at the rich assortment which Russian literature has 
already enabled him to off*er, and at the elegant style in which they are 
got up. Perhaps ai no time was such miserable paper, such detestable 
type, and such a measureless want of taste and accuracy in printing, to be met 
with in Russia, as we formerly saw, and do yet occasionally see in Germany. 
Since the commencement of this century, however, Russia has made such 
rapid advances that the modem productions may stand a comparison with 
those of any nation. Russian books are generally printed on a very firm 
paper in a very large type, but there are some 12mos and IGmos which 
leave nothing to be desired in point of neatness and elegance. Books 
from Smirdin*s press may now venture to show their faces boldly in the 
boudoirs of the most fastidious ladies, by the side of the choicest produc- 
tions of London and Paris and the time is long gone by when a Russian 
nobleman could only allow a Russian book to stand here and there in the 
dust of the lowest slielvcs, in his almost exclusively French library. It is 
not only by the extent, however, of the booksellers' stokiks in St. Peters- 
burg and Moscow, where there are shops containing upwards of 100,000 
volumes, that we may estimate the extraordinary advance of Russian lite- 
rature ; the prices given to favourite authors, affbrd also a good criterion. 
There are Russian authors who have realized estates of many square miles out 



INDUSTRY, 



133 



of their inkstands ; some have received 5000 or 6000 rubles, merely to 
lend their names to a journal, and there are periodicals that count not less 
than 20,000 subscribers. The greatest new work in hand is the National En- 
cyclopedia, which pays as much as 100 and 200 rubles a sheet to its con- 
tributors, and must reckon, therefore, on a tolerably large circulation. 
Russian literatm-e is now strong enough in pinion to soai' on a level witli 
that of France, if not to take a flight above it, in the estimation of the best 

nflitive circles. 

German literature is somewhat in a dilemma between the newly kindled 
inspiration of the Russian, and the old preference for French literature, to 
say nothing of the Anglomania, that is beginning to make itself felt on 
the banks of the Neva. There was a time in St. Petersburg, when the enthu- 
siasm for German poetry was not confined within the limits of the German 
colony, every rising talent was haUed with pleasure, ^nd the spring eagerly 
looked for that should bring over some ne^v production of Scliiller, Gothe, 
or Wieland. There were persons at the court who had these names con- 
stantly in their mouths, and it is still delightful to a German to hear a 
Russian speak with enthusiasm on the brilliant dawn of German poetry. 
It is undeniable that the study of the German language was advancmg 
even very lately in Russia. The growing disUke for the French since 
1812, has allowed more German teachers to appear, and in some of the 
public schools the Gennan language is a regular branch of study In 
public and private libraries, the German names and character are still fre- 
quently found mingled with the Roman and Slavonian. They are gene^- 
rally, however, the classic names in German literature only. The Russians look 
upon our literature as dead, and know nothing of the productions of the 
present time. Even the German part of the population trouble themselves 
but Httle to procure what is new in their native land. This may be attri- 
buted to many causes ; to the worldly prosperity in which they all rejoice, 
to their lessened sympathy with German literature by the necessity they 
are under of mastering the Russian language and books, to fashion, and 
to the habit of speaking French with the Russians, and discussmg wita 
them the merits of the ephemeral productions of the French press. 



CHAPTER XVIII. 



THE TABLE AND KITCHEN. 



It is a certain fact that the people of Crete to this day roast their goats- 
flesh exactly as that was roasted which cheered the fainting soul of the 
much enduring Ulysses after his storm-tossed passage thither. The Pillaw, 
the well-kno^vn tower of rice and mutton, the centre dish even now of 
the oriental table, smoked on the boards of the Persian and Partliian in 
the times of the Greeks and the Romans, and there can be no doubt that 
many a Babylonian stone and marble tower will yet rise and fall in those 
countries, before the towers of rice will be overthrown. There are certaiidy 
many animals and vegetables, and consequently many dishes which have 



134 



THE TABLE AND KITCHEN. 



been introduced into lands where they were before unknown, and have thus 
revolutionized their kitchens. Cofifee, potatoes, and maize in Eiu-ope, and 
the spread of our homed cattle in America are the most striking examples 
of this. Among beverages, tea, wine, and spirituous distillations have also 
their claims to historical consideration. Nevertheless, taken on the whole, 
all nations cling with extraordinary tenacity and constancy to their old 
customs and their old culinary faith, as to their traditions, and myths, and 
old nurse's stories ; nay, as the examples already refeiTcd to prove, the 
system of cookery often survives systems of religion, and political 
constitutions faD, while the institutions of the kitchen maintain their 

ground. 

There is a town in Germany, in which, on high festival-days a certain 
cake is prepared, called a krull-cake. These cakes are mentioned in the 
oldest chronicles of the city, in narrating the choice of a Burgermeister, or 
some such occurrence. It is recorded in " Piatt Deutsch," that they held a 
counsel and eat kruU-cakes. The city was then catholic. Three 
hundred years ago, it became protestant, but to the old faith in krull-cakes 
it has adhered. The inhabitants dressed formerly in the old Spanish cos- 
tume ; that gradually gave way to the French, but the krull-cakes held 
their ground, and the Gallic- clad senators munched as the Spanish had 
done. At a later period, the city lost all its old constitution, as part of the 
Germanic body, and was incorporated with France, and thus the men be- 
came outwardly and inwardly another people, spoke another language, wore 
6ther clothing, and thought other thoughts. But to this day they bake 
and eat krull-cakes, as their blessed forefathers did before them, though 
perhaps they do not resemble them in any other particular. These are 
things that seem to have escaped the observation and research of philo- 
sophers more than any other kind of phenomenon. ^ 

To make krull-cakes, fine sifted wheat or flour is taken, skimmed-milk, 
so many eggs, and certain spices, the dough is put into an iron mould, and 
toasted at a gentle fire. In this recipe so much seems arbitrary, that one 
would expect continual change. On the contrary, the fashion of the cake 
has survived the storms of centuries, and seems to possess a constant power 
of self- reproduction, like plants and minerals. 

The preparation of many kinds of food is maintained in certain forms 
by religious and political laws, as the unleavened bread of the Jews, which 
is in form, taste, and essence, the same as it was in the time of Moses. 
That is intelligible ; but how is the fashion of cookery maintained without 
any such aid. Strabo mentions certain flat-pressed sausages of pigs-meat, 
that were favourite articles of food with the people of Byzantium. Byzan- 
tium has since been Roman, Greek, Latin, Turkish, and is about to become 
Russian, and those flat-sausages exist yet in Constantinople, and are carried 
thence into the neighboming provinces. So it was, in Strabo's time, the cus- 
tom, in certain provinces by the Black Sea, to cut beef into long strips and 
dry it in the air to preserve it. These customs did not certainly arise from 
any natural necessity, for there are many countries quite as dry, and where 
there is a still greater want of fuel, where the custom never prevjuled, but 
on the Black Sea it prevails to this day. 

The character of many a nation depends certainly, in no small degree, 
on the food which the country yields, and, on the other hand, the character 
of the nation as certainly operates on the choice and preparation of its 
food. Certain inclinations to certain kinds of food, may also be traced 
among different nations. Swine's flesh was at all times an abomination 



THE TABLE AND KITCHEN 



135 



to the Arabians ; and the aversion of the Jew to pork, woiold alone suffice 
to show him of Arabian origin. The Germanic nations have always held 
beef in favour, and they alone know how to prepare it, so as to make it 
savoury and nutritive. In Germany as in England, in Sweden as m Nor- 
way and Denmark, the German blood announces itself by this unlailmg 
test. The Roman nations, the French, the Spaniards, and the ItaHans, 
have all something in common in their kitchen, as in their language and 

V^chief national dish of the Russians is their « Shtshee," which, as far 
as the Russian name extends, neither moral nor poUtical revolution has 
ever driven from their table, or their hearts. It is seen on the board of 
the serf, and is constantly to be found at the tables of the rich, where it 
maintains its place amid the ragouts and pasties of France. One can hardly 
believe, when the Russian in a foreign land is heard to lament m a stram 
of pathetic eloquence the loss of his " shtshee," or when one hears in Riga, 
that the three mightiest gods of the Russian nation, are Tshin, Tshai, and 
Shtshee, (rank, tea, and cabbage-soup,)— one can scarcely beUeve, I say, 
that the beloved shtshee, is simply cabbage-soup, and neither more nor 
less— but so it is ; shtshee and shtshee again is the staff of life with aU the 
people living between Kamtshatka and the Prussian frontier ; indeed, the 
bones, nerves, muscles, and flesh of the great majority of the Russians, may 
be looked upon in some sort as the solid essence of shtshee. ^^rty 
millions of human beings put up their daily prayer for their daily shtshee. 
It is the main subsistence of the mighty Russian army, consistmg ot a 
million of fighting men. Wherever the Russian comes as a settler, or as 
a conqueror, in the Baltic provinces, in Finland, in the lands of Jartary, 
at the foot of the Caucasian or the Altai mountains, be assured he will 
not fail to lay out a mighty cabbage -garden, wherewith to gladden his 
stomach with the much beloved shtshee. 

The mode of preparing this remarkable dish varies greatly, and there 
are almost as many kinds of shtshee as of cabbages. Six or sevea 
heads of cabbage chopped up, half a pound of barley-meal, a quarter of a 
pound of butter, a handful of salt, and two pounds of mutton cut mto 
smaU pieces, with a can or two of " Kwas," make an exceUent shtshee. 
With the very poor, the butter and the meat are of course left out, which 
reduces the composition to the cabbage and the kwas. In the houses 
of the wealthy, on the contrary, many ingredients are added, and rules 
laid down to be closely observed ; " bouillon" is used instead of kwas, 
the meat is salted and pressed for six-and-thu-ty hours, and is put raw to 
the ah-eady boiling cabbage ; thick cream is added, and the whole mixture 
when complete is pronounced unsurpassably excellent. 

The second dish in importance is the " Posdnoi Shtshee" or « Fastmg 
Shtshee," in which fish is used instead of meat, oil instead of butter, &c. 
The lower classes eat it usually with a kind of fish not larger than a sprats 
boiled skin and all to a pap, and to give it additional flavour, a portion of 

thick oil is added. 

"Botvinya" is another right Russian dish, and nearly akm to 
shtshee. The latter is the staple of the Russian table the whole year 
through ; but " Botvinya" is only eaten in the summer. The ingre- 
dients, which are warm in the shtshee, are put cold into the botvmya, 
cold kwas, raw herbs, red berries, chopped cucumbers, and lastly, salmon or 
some other fish cut into square lumps. At the better tables, slices of lemon 



136 



THE TABLE AND KITCHEN. 



are sometimes added, toasted blackbread cut small, and to make it yet cooler 
small lumps of ice. This is the famous " Botvinya," and if any one be at a 
loss to imagine how these can all agree with the " kwas (thin beer) in 
which they swim about, let him by all means come to Russia, and eat ot 
the dish for a few years, when no doubt he will find the ingredients aU 
equally good and harmonious. 

Perhaps the climate of Russia, where the summer is always excessively 
hot, as the winter always excessively cold, is the cause of the decided and 
strictly maintained distinctions between the summer and the winter cmsine. 
Every season has its own soup, its own poultry, its own pastry. To many, 
a positive date for their enjoyment may be given. Fruit comes in on the 
8th of August, ice on Easter Sunday. Religion, which has much to do 
with the Russian table, prohibits the eating of certain articles of food 
before a certain day. Saturday's dishes differ throughout the whole 
country from Sunday's ; Friday and Wednesday, as fast-days, have other 
food prescribed than Monday and Thursday. It is all one, in Germany, 
what food is set before the guests at a funeral ; in Russia, it must be a kind 
of rice-soup, with plums and raisins. The cake broken over the head of 
the newly-born child, is of a particular kind. Weddings, betrothments, 
&c., have all their appointed dishes, and it must not be forgotten that 
these household regulations hold good for not less than 300,000 German 
square miles, and forty millions of people. , - , ^ r n 

Meat is almost always eaten by the Russians (we speak of the great bulk 
of the people), either boiled, pickled, or salted ; they seldom smoke meat, 
not even their hams and bacon ; roasting is almost unknown to them. It 
is incredible how bad the bread is, considering the goodness of the com ; 
it is all, more or less sour, and why this is so, is not easy to discover. 
Another fault is that it is never sufficiently baked, but that is character- 
istic of a people who choose to eat more unripe than npe fruit. It were 
easy to leave their fruit a little longer on the tree, their bread a httle 
longer in the oven, but that is never done. Pasties of all kinds (pirogas) 
are in great favour with the Russian ; things so little known in Germany 
that we have not even a word for them. The Russians pack every thing 
that can be chopped up, into pies ; vegetables, fruit, mushrooms, flesh, and 
fish ; the paste is generally detestable. , , . 

It must be very gratifying to the author of a Russian cookery-book to 



wme, in tne " Duuer-weeK, as n, » «;<».icu, ^^.^^^ v...- g,.„,...— , - - - 
unquestionably rewarded for his trouble by the reflection that the whole 
empire is suffering from indigestion at the same time. So great a unitor- 
mity in eating must partly cause, and partly presuppose, a great umlormity 
of moral and physical constitution. •, i u i. 

If the inward character, and the mysterious nature of the veiled Psyche 
of a nation, speaks not less intelligibly in the productions of its kitchen, 
than in the productions of any other art, it may not be superfluous to 
mention the great preference the Russians show for all kinds of food that 
can be grated and mashed up. It is as if food in a solid form were un- 
bearable to the Russian or he too lazy to chew ! Every thing must melt 
in his mouth, and find iU way to the maze within him, without any trouble 
on his part. An energetic active people like to crunch and bite! What 
were their teeth for else ? The Russians may indeed ^uote the gods of 



THE TABLE AND KITCHEN. 



137 



Greece as their patterns, for doubtless the ambrosia of Oljinp^ must^have 
been something of the consistence of their much loved " Kissels and 
" Pastelas ;" for, if on the one hand we cannot suppose ambrosia to have 
been a liquid soup, to be conveyed with spoons to the expectant mouths ol 
the immortals ; on the other hand, it cannot have been a hard tooth-ex- 
ercising substance, for mastication is somethmg exceedingly un-ideal, and 
inconsistent with godlike attributes. t> • r »• i 

The quantity of sweetmeats, wet and dry, consumed at a Kussian testival 
is perfectly astonishing ; for balls they are bought by the pood (36 lbs. 
EngUsh), ind many a merchant's wife, if she be nch enough, consumes 
half her life in eating sugar, which in one kind of preparation or another, 
b crunched, sucked, and swallowed all day long. 

Of liquids, the most national and most general is kwas, which owu- 
pies the same place as a beverage, that shtshee does ^^ a dish. Ihe 
Russian of the lower class can no more live without kwas, than fish without 
water. It is not only his constant drink, but the foundation of a 1 his 
soups and sauces, which are rarely made with simple ^T^ater, but almost 
dways with kwak Kwas is the basis of aU his food solid and H^^l^f 
kwas^all things dissolve and swim; even on the tables of the wealthiest, 
among the w^es and liqueurs, instead of decanters of water appear decan- 
ters of kwas. Fortunately it is a light and wholesome b^vemge. It « 
prepared in the foUowing manner : A pailful of water .s put mto an 
earthen vessel, into wliich are shaken two pounds of barley-meal, haU-a- 
p^nd of salt and a pound-and-a-half of honey. This mixture is put m 
the eveninff into a kind of oven, with a moderate fire, and constantly 
Xr~^the morning it is left for a time to settle, and then the clear 
Sd is poured off. The kwas is then ready, and may be drunk in a few 
27s i in a week it is at its highest perfection. As kwas is thought g^ 
oJy when prepared in smaU quantities, and m small vessels, every house- 
hold brewsUitself. In great houses a servant is kept for this pu^ose 
who finds in it wherewithal to occupy him the whole day, and has J^ "T^ 
mysterious observances in the preparation, as if it were a spell, "^ as it there 
were as much significance in his labours a^ in those of Schiller s bell-founden 
Mead is another national and very ancient Slavonian .beverage In 
former times it was the only spirituous liquor of the R"^^^"' •' b"?;""^ 
with the higher, and brandy with the lower classes, had superseded it ma 
great measSre. Of late, however, it seems to be recovenng some degree 
Sf favour; perhaps the active research into the annals of Russia, and the 
reviving spirit of nationality, may be among the causes. 

Brand/ is now with all the Slavonian nations so powerful a deity, that 
in the seise in which it is said, " gold rules the world, it may be added 
and " brandy rules the Russians." The usual reward, the usual bnbe for 
the ordinaryWian, is not money but brandy. The common people d^ 
not care h<af so much for money; no festival, no Easter, °° Chns^^ 
without brandy ; brandy must urge the labourer to work, and the wamor 
to battle. Itis amazingiow greedy they are of this fiery poison Bmidy 
is with the Russian a foreign innovation ; but they have found a nationa 
name for it, and caU it " Vodka." the little water ; there « f /»« P°f ^^^ 
play of fancy impUed in thb loving diminutive. Thousands, "'rou^ Us 
consumption, are daUy rendered rich, and thoi^ands poor. A paper, 
which sLuld give the true sUtistics and history of its consumption, ^>ould 
not be the least remarkable page in the history of the world. 



138 



THE TABLE AND KITCHEN. 



THE TABLE AND KITCHEN. 



139 



The number of acid drinks in use in Russia is very great ; it is remark- 
able that much as the Russians love sweets, no kitchen deals so largely 
in acids as theirs. Perhaps their constitutions require those violent con- 
trasts; perhaps, as extremes meet, the quantity of oil and thick fat sub- 
stances they eat, awaken the appetite for both the sweet and the sour. 

Of all fruits, the produce of the highest north, the "mamurami" affords 
the pleasantest beverage ; it is of the size and form of a mulberry, with 
the flavom' of a pineapple; mixed with champagne and wine it makes 
the finest punch in the world — a drink worthy of a j)oet's song. 

Unfavourable as the climate of Russia seems to be to such enjoyments, 
there is no country where dining in the open air is so customary. A 
large quantity of food is constantly carried about the streets of the cities 
by peripatetic restaurateurs: in winter, hot tea and soups, potatoes, and 
hot cakes; in summer, ices, cool sherbets, kwas, &c. &c. The number of 
places for the sale of ready-dressed food in Russian towns is immense ; 
often a large hall or open booth, or some other spacious locaUty, is pre- 
pared as a dining-place for the lower classes, where the artist and the 
observer may find as rich a harvest for the pencil and the pen, as the work- 
man may of pirogas, kwas, and shtshee. The great number of unmarried 
persons who live at St. Petersburg and other cities, without being at home 
there, render such establishments necessary. 

In the consumption of meat St. Petersburg surpasses any other city in 
Europe, and, if we exclude the badly-fed army of 60,000 men from our 
reckoning, may perhaps be esteemed the best-fed city in the world. It 
consumes nearly 4,000,000 poods of corn yearly : that is, children, old people, 
and sick included, 200 pounds a-head ; 100,000 oxen ; viz., a whole ox 
to every 4^ men, mthout reckoning cows and calves. Of swine and sheep 
rather less are consumed than in Paris ; but the destruction of fish is enor- 
mous. Of herrings, for example, in 1832, 53,000 tons were brought to 
St. Petersburg : that is, one ton to every eight persons. According to 
the statement of the minister of the interior, in the same year, 500,000 
poods of salt, or 36 pounds a-head (about 1^ oz. a-day), was the consump- 
tion of St. Petersburg. It would be interesting to compare this statement 
with similar ones relative to London, Paris, and Vienna. Data enough 
are given in the journals of Russia, though it must be confessed that such 
grossly absurd contradictions appear in the statements, on the most super- 
ficial examination, that no one can attempt to reconcile the inconsistencies, 
or to calculate an average. 

The environs of St. Petersburg are more steril and unproductive than 
those of any capital in Europe, Madrid excepted ; on which account it has 
been aptly enough called the New Palmyra — a magnificent and luxurious 
city in the midst of- a desert. The merest trifles only are supplied by the 
neighbourhood. The daily bread ripens on the shores of the Volga, and 
has many a river and canal to pass before it reaches the ovens of St. Peters- 
burg. Even the hay is brought from a great distance. Eggs, and such 
like articles of immediate consumption, come from the thickly-peopled 
environs of Moscow ; hence trade in such articles is conducted on a much 
largp scale than elsewhere. Baskets full of eggs are brought into our 
towns, but whole caravans of them are brought to St. Petersburg. 

The fruit-gardens of St. Petersburg are in Stettin or the Crimea ; their 
apples come from a distance of two hundred miles over a stormy sea, or 
of three hundred over the icy steppes. Their meat is fattened on the 



1. - ^4? *v,« nUiAr Spa for only a tenth part of the consumption stated 

tTefsXS^^^ XoiLi^^I The salt is P^^Hly Calm^^, 

„X Swedish and Norweriau. The butter comes from Esthoma and 

filfrSsrl with L most ordina^ articles Those o luxury 

W as every where else, are, of course, the product of foreign lands. 

A St Petersburg meal is served on so large a scale that a native of 
that city mi^t think himself in a land of famine in Hamburg \ lenna, or 
tnat cuy mus'- ^^ prologue to a dinner consists of so many 

on t^??»;'^-?™Sone mavLiWistake it for the dinner itself; 
T:X!J^^^^^r^e^^ "^^^^^ *^« richly-decorated drop-scene for 
the Blav A RLian grand dinner is like a piece of music, of ^hjch jo"? 
Xr tL chords have announced the approachmg end a mdtjtude of 
thriUs and cXnces flourish as it were into a new part, till at last |t comes 
toT^Ce^ profVislon of fruits and sweetmeats, and the performers 
™te At a^real Russian banquet the dessert .s as distinct from the 
separate. ^'' " ^^ j,et, and is taken in another room. Liqueurs 

ar^^^tfo'-^SeXexci'te the appetite, and after dinner to assist 

^^FoS; rest, It is with the St. Petersburg dinners ^ with many other 
tor tne rest, « enjoyment, with a profusion of the 

meTs 0? en oyment f he wM^ affai^ - --^^ on much too quickly 
The dbhes Xh are cut up at the sideboard by the carver and earned 
r^td Sc5 each other wFth great rapidity. W^h -ry d.h the sm - 

f ToTtimtlatt SU^^^a^fi^t ttiu^ l'^^^^ 
Ss itttirfrfm wH?h he might hefp himself ^^ pl--^^^^^^^ 
Seed best All these customs are gemnt ; still more so that which tetters 
theiuest to hb place during the whole banquet. It is considered an un- 
wTof ^oS of proprieV to rise from one's -at, even m the smalkst 
family circle. The guests sit down m plena at a sign from the host, and 
SAer the last disfalso in plena; and no one ^-^ ^J^^^Ts 
land to lineer in iest or conversation over the bottle. When a toast is 
riven at whSi no speech or even sportive remark is ever made, every 
f^e ris^ sUently, bows, touches his neighbour's ^tes with his OTvoi and 
quLuy reseats himself. To go up to anyone in particular, to touch 
dassef, would be deemed the silliest procee^ding m the world. A man 
fats at a Russian dinner as if he were tethered to a manger. 



CHAPTER XIX. 

FOREIGN TEACHERS. 

Every spring, when the ice melts in the Gulf of Cronstadt, and the 
market behind the Exchange is opened with its gaily-coWed wares of 
mSws and paroquets, and its abundance of rarities and delicacies, ahve 
Se^! from the same ships that have brought out the new fashions and 
new books from London, Paris, and Lubeck, many young ladies may be 



140 



FOREIGN TEACHERS. 



FOREIGN TEACHERS. 



141 



seen landing with torn veils and ruffled head-gear. These are the lovely 
and unlovely Swiss, German, French, and English women destined to 
offictate in Russia as priestesses of Minerva, in fanning the flame of mental 
cultivation. Exhausted by sea-sickness, saddened by home-sickness, 
frightened by the bearded Russians who greet their eyes in Croiistadt, and 
pierced through and through by the chill breath of a St. Petersburg 
May, they issue from their cabins, pale, timid, and slow, anxiety and 
white fear upon their lips, and despair in their eyes. 

The manner in which Russia greets her newly-arrived guests is not the 
most friendly ; and if it be true that a first impression of men or of coun- 
tries is the most decisive and important, merciful Heaven ! what evil 
prognostics must not this reception call forth ? No stranger ever landed 
in Russia whose first thought as he disembarked was not of his return. 
Not a guest would the country retain, it is my opinion, if, as soon as he 
stepped on shore, he could find an opportunity to go back again. 

Unwillingly the fair strangers leave the ship, the last piece of their 
native land that has followed them to this strange region, and hurry to 
hide themselves and their sorrows in the first hotel on Vassili Ostroff^, till 
their fiiends, or the family to which they are recommended, come to seek 
and bring them forth to the light of day. 

Their entrance into a rich and distinguished house is a new stage of 
suffering ; and if the rude voices, long beards, and filthy clothing of the 
barbarous population of the harbour terrified them, here the glitter of un- 
wonted luxury alarms their bashfulness. The loud tumultuous life of a 
great house in Russia, where no one comprehends their feelings in the 
slightest degree, is enough to overwhelm them; and, quartered in an 
apartment with the tribe of children intrusted to their care, they have 
scarcely a corner to themselves where they can weep out their grief. 
Once caught in the whirlpool of St. Petersburg society, they feel them- 
selves at every turn wounded and repulsed, and they feel that they in their 
turn repulse and offend. However their mothers and sisters may have 
exerted themselves to arrange their wardrobe, they quickly find it unsuited 
to the northern capital. They must learn to " sing another tune.*' Even 
Parisian manners will not do in St. Petersburg ; their French pronuncia- 
tion is criticised and found fault with, for the St. Petersburgers speak 
their own French, and modify the French manners after their own 
fashion. Even a French courtier would be found wanting here a hundred 
times, with his freedom of demeanour and easy habits : much more so a 
quiet Swiss governess just descended from her mountains, or a German 
tutor who has made a pilgrimage hither from some unknow^n nook of his 
father-land, to aid some Russian statesman or court lady in the education 
of a family of children. 

However, with time comes experience. The modest finery of the dis- 
tant home is laid aside as a keepsake ; the quickly-filled purse is resorted 
to— the outward form is modified after the fashions of St. Petersburg ; the 
sentimentality of western Europe is laid aside (for, compared to the Rus- 
sians, not only the Germans, but even the French and English are senti- 
mental) ; and the strangers learn to assume, by day at least, a decorous 
mask of cheerfulness, and thus contrive in the end to put a good face on 
the matter, even should the pillow be tear-moistened at night. 

The position of domestic tutors and governesses in Russia is peculiar, 
and much more important than with us. We have many, it is true, of 



both in Germany, France, and England, but it cannot be said they are 
greatly considered ; they are moderately paid, and remain generally 
within certain hmits, or find refuge in the holy state of matrimony or the 
church. 

In Russia it is quite different ; private teaching is there a profitable em- 
ployment, and as such an object of all kinds of speculation ; for the condition 
of private tutor is not only a very good stepping-stool to all sorts of ho- 
nourable posts, but a solid employment for life, fui*nishing not only an 
abundant maintenance for the present, but offering the prospect of a future 
free from care. It is, indeed, a game of chance, like every thing else in 
Russia ; but one in which, with many blanks, there are an extraordinary 
number of prizes. " Consider now, my dear boy, what you would like to 
be," said a father in St. Petersburg to his son, whom he had sent for from 
Germany where he had finished his studies ; " whether you feel most incli- 
nation for, the Finance or the Department of the Interior, whether you 
would like to be Director of the Post or of the Bank, or whether you 
would prefer the Mastership of the Woods and Forests or of the Mines, or 
whether you would like to enter the military service." To a tutor in a 
Russian nobleman's family all these careers are open ; you have only to find 
the right entrance. 

A young man who is tolerably pleasing in manner and appearance, or at 
all comme il fauty as it is called, with his solid German acquirements, is 
tolerably certain to find this entrance ; that is, if he can stand the fiery 
ordeal to which his position as domestic tutor subjects him. There are 
many young men who from tutors have become state and privy counsellors ; 
many also who, from mere sorrow and hunger (of the mind) have lost not 
only all joy in life, but sometimes life itself. 

It is much the same with the governess. If she be tolerably pretty 
and agi-eeable, and possess some of those taletits de societc which the 
Russians value so highly, she can scarcely fail to entangle the heart of 
some young adjutant or colonel, as whose lady she will give soirees and 
balls in her turn — but a cherished wife, a loving mother to loving 
children — ? 

And even if such should not be her lot, if she can accommodate herself 
to the humour of her patroness she may lead a very supportable, brilliant 
fife. She will find opportunities of making her light shine before men, and 
of gratifying her vanity ; and what is more, she may look with tole- 
rable certainty to an ultimate retreat to her native land, with a little for- 
tune to solace the evening of her days. The cities of Montbeillard, Lau- 
sanne, Neufchatel, and some others, the nurseries for governesses for all 
Europe, are full of small capitalists of both sexes, who have accumulated 
their httle fortunes in Russia. 'To maintain themselves successfully in 
such a position, however, they require a total want of susceptibility, whe- 
ther false or real, for tlie Russians are pitiless towards such feelings. In 
then* stead let there be a certain coldness and strength of character, and a 
resolute and watchful defence ; for the Russian always strikes his flag to 
perseverance and firmness. 

Some contrive to accommodate themselves so thoroughly to the Russian 
element as to exchange their own national peculiarities for those of Russia, 
and prefer remaining for life where they have spent the better part of it. 
In many Russian famiUes are to be found such after-growths of superan- 
nuated EngHsh nurses. Frenchwomen, and Germans, who have adhered 



142 



FOREIGN TEACHERS. 



to the family till they are considered regular parts of it, and enjoy all the 
privileges of adoption accordingly. 

In St. Petersburg, which keeps all articles of the first quality for itself, 
and despatches the inferior ones into the provinces, much is of course 
required, and the capabilities of the tutors and tutoresses employed there, 
must be much on a par with those of other capitals ; but in the provinces 
it -is wonderful what a cry of astonishment is often raised at very mode- 
rate endowments. 

" He is a niiracle of a Nyemetz (German) that I have got for my chil- 
dren," assured me once a thorough Russian gentleman in one of the 
provinces ; ** he speaks German, English, French, Greek, Latin, and 
knows all sorts of sciences that ever were. It is wonderful to hear how 
he plays on the pianoforte, and sings. Ah, Heaven, I am perfectly 
amazed at the man !" On a nearer acquaintance, I found this " wonder" 
a very ordinary person indeed, who had indeed a smattering of many 
things, but seemed to me hardly master of his native language. 

The tutor in a Russian provincial house, is always an oracle, and the 
governess a prophetess. If at table or elsewhere, any thing occurs rela- 
tive to any science whatever, all eyes turn to the oracle, before whose 
omniscience all are dumb. To doubt him would compromise the doubter ; 
all listen attentively. " Ah, you must know ! That is all in your way !" 
How often an honest German is almost compelled to make a solemn face, 
and play the part of conjurer thus forced on him against his will ! " I do 
not know," " that is not in my way," ** I imagine so and so." Such a 
way of speaking would ruin a man's credit for ever in the interior of 
Russia. "What does he say?" ** He don't know." " Why does he not 
know ? We do not know, either. Then he knows no more than we do ! 
God knows what he does know ! he is one of those learned quacks that 
are so plentiful with us.** — " You must know, sir ; you must be sure ; 
say yes or no. What lies between yes or no ? Uncertainty, ignorance. 
If you don't know, sir, why do you call yourself a learned man ? Solomon 
says, that all knowledge is vanity, but two thousand years have passed 
away since then. Almost every thing is known now, and you, as a Ger- 
man and an examined teacher, ought to know every tiling. The D — 1 ! 
else why do we pay the Nyemtzi so much money?" 

Learned modesty does nowhere less for a man than in Russia, where 
the depths of science are not even guessed at, and where they stop short 
on the surface, and strike on the few fragments loosened from the moun- 
tain of knowledge. The learned are expected to deal in ordonnances 
like the government, which speak out positively ; sic volo, sic jubeo. A 
man must carry his learned small change in his pocket, that it may be at 
hand when wanted, and deliver himself, thus : " It is known to all the 
world that the thing is so, and so ;" or " the famous so and so says," — 
"Pom say so, but / say no ! I know better, keep to what you understand 
and be silent ! — twice three are five, and one are six, Abrakadabra ! 
Aristotle was the disciple of Plato, and Plato of Socrates, and all three 
are positive on this point, &c. &c." " Vot Maladez! (see, that is the 
right lad) he understands ! what a learned man ! It is really astonish- 
ing !*" And with the wonder at the learning the matter rests ; they have 



* Maladez^ signifies " a clever young man." Vot Maladez is a very frequent 
exclamation of admiratiOD, when any thing is done particularly yreU. 



FOREIGN TEACHERS. 



143 



moreover a certain awe of learned people, because they think themselves 
so often looked down on by them. 

It is odd enough that the very thing we are apt to reproach the Rus- 
sians with, they retort upon us. The Germans have the general reputa- 
tion with them of being wilful, full of humour, and difficult to get on with. 
They find them so perhaps in comparison with their own very extraor- 
dinary capacity for accommodating themselves to the caprices of a supe- 
rior, while a German who seems to place any value on order, justice, 
morahty, or self-reUance, passes with them for a malcontent and per- 

verse 

Learning and science help the teacher but little in Russia, if they 
are not sometimes positively injurious to him in his social relations ; the 
appearance of them is the one thing needful. Musical talent, piano- 
forte playing, and singing, are of great value, and will win him many a 
heart ; but the most valuable qualifications are elegant dancing and 
address at cards. He who dances well and plays well at cards, is the true 
man, " comme il faut;' and he who is comme il faut, is the nian of all 
others for the Russians. He who can win 500 rubles at whist in an 
evening, sing German songs well, and display a graceful new step in the 
dance, he is their most intimate friend, he is more, he is their lord and 
master, and may rule their hearts at will. There are a multitude of 
foreigners in Russia, who, by the exercise of accompHshments like these, 
have obtained the highest influence in famihes, which they guide as the 
Jesuits are said to have done formerly. . i. • 

This is the easier for them, because the Russians have in serious busi- 
ness, more confidence in foreigners than in their own countrymen, and 
trust the former willingly with theii* secrets. To this it may be added, 
that in all Russian houses, many patriarchal customs prevail; all mem- 
bers of the household come to be looked upon as integral parts of it, and 
with the little fastidiousness of the Russian in reference to difference of 
birth, speedily amalgamate with the family. Whoever shows a joyful 
countenance, takes all things as he finds them, is willing to renounce 
his individuality, and to make a part of the social dough into which he is 
baked, hke a plum into a cake, may reckon upon an existence outwardly 
comfortable enough, and his vanit}; will often enough be agreeably 
tickled ; but he must not take too rigidly into the account, how often his 
self-love and sense of honour suffer in the process. 

It is well known that the Russians pay their teachers highly, tliree to 
four thousand rubles yearly is a usual salary ; but sometimes as much is 
given as six or even ten thousand, when they wish to allure an instructer 
to Siberia, or to any of the more distant provinces. A pension is gene- 
rally secured at the end of the engagement ; or as the fashion now begms 
to prevail, a round sum of thirty or forty thousand rubles when the edu- 
cation is completed. The salaries have of late rather increased than 
dimhiished, on account of the sparing manner in which passports have 
been granted for Russia. 

The majority of the tutors are obtamed, or " written for," as the phrase 
runs, from Germany and France , the governesses mostly from French- 
Switzerland. Many come from the Baltic provinces, Germanised Estho- 
nians and Livonians of the lower ranks, who turn the German and French 
they have picked up to good account in the interior of Russia. 

In Dorpat I once met a Russian nobleman, who had engaged seven 



144 



FOREIGN TEACHERS. 



governesses for himself and his friends, and was setting off with them for 
the interior, packed in three kaleshes. 

The bonnes, or nursery-maids, for the younger children in St. Peters- 
burg, must be English, who, by general consent, are pronounced better 
suited for the office than those of any other nation. 

The great educational institutions in Moscow, St. Petersburg, and 
other places, and the FoundUng Hospital, furnish yearly from eight hun- 
dred to a thousand young women for the offices of instruction ; they are 
scattered throughout the empire, where, in too many places, their previ- 
ously over-dehcate education renders them very unhappy. 

Governesses are to be met with in all societies in St. Petersburg, of 
which they are often the best leaven. Tutors are seen in every comer 
with their pupils, and form a considerable element of the population of 
the city. 

The government busies itself so constantly with the matter of private 
education, that there are already a multitude of laws and regulations 
concerning " instituteurs, institutrices, and precepteurs." The latest and 
most -remarkable is that of 1834, in which all the privileges of the examined 
private tutors are detailed. According to this ukase, they are reckoned 
m the service of the state, and consequently entitled to wear the " lesser 
uniform" of the ministr}' of public instruction. Private tutors in the old 
noble families are advanced after two years* service into the fourteenth 
rank; those in merchants' families of the first guild, of preachers, priests, 
and the lower class of nobility, have the same rank after three years' 
service ; in those of persons of no positive rank, after five years ; and in 
those classes not entitled to enter the service of the state, the tutors are 
not entitled to this fourteenth grade till after eight years' service. They 
may then, like all other officials, expect in process of time to become 
titular counsellors, court counsellors, &c. &c. There are already coun- 
sellors of state in Russia, who have never been any thing else but private 
teachers. " Instituteurs" are the educators^ properly speaking, and take 
precedence of " precepteurs," who merely give lessons. After fifteen years 
irreproachable service, the instituteurs m noble families receive the cross 
of the order of St. Anne of the third class ; the precepteurs, the cross of 
the order of St. Stanislaus of the fourth class ; the tutors in non-noble 
houses can only obtain the St. Vladimir's cross of the fourth class after 
twenty to five-and-twenty or thirty years' service. Whoever in five-and- 
twenty years has prepared three pupils for the University receives the title 
of Instituteur Em6rite. On the receipt of each of these signs of honour 
they must pay 100 rubles to the fund for the mmntenance of impoverished 
and sick private tutors. 

These regulations from the abovenamed ukase are selected as interesting 
and characteristic. There are similar laws for actors, fencing-masters, 
drawing-masters, teachers of music, &c. &c. For all these persons cut- 
tings and snippings have been saved from the decorations and ribbons of 
generals and marshals; and thereby have little miniature marics of honour 
been manufactured, the value of which it requires a moral microscope to 
discover. Is not this rather to throw ridicule than confer distinction on a 
class of persons whose business is so highly important in itself ? 

The German view of Russian education is, that the outward varnish is 
all that is required or understood ; that the fructifying spirit is entirely 
wanting; that the utmost that is given is external polish and lifeless 



FOREIGN TEACHERS. 



145 



knowledge. Just as this opinion is on the whole, it would yet be highly 
unjust to rest satisfied with it, and turn away from the subject without the 
acknowledgment of much praiseworthy endeavoiu*. 

Since Peter the Great first launched her on the ocean of European civi- 
lization, Russia has been seized with an enthusiasm, or rather with a 
frenzy for improvement, such as no people in the history of the world ever 
experienced before. Academies, universities, national schools, gymna- 
siums, started forth as at the stroke of a conjurer's wand within tlie wide 
limits of tlie giant empire. Multitudes of French and Germans have wan- 
dered over the land for the last century, scattering the seed of western 
cultivation. The rulers of the land have recognised the schooling of the 
people as an important branch of government; and as for the army, the 
finances, and commerce, so there is an especial department of the ministry 
for schools, scholars, and teachers. The emperor and empress spend a 
great part of their time in the inspection and improvement of the public 
institutions. In imitation of this example, ithe chief authorities in the 
provinces are as much occupied with the control and inspection of the 
schools as with any other branch of public business. It would be un- 
reasonable, then, not to bestow some interest and attention on so much 
well-meant labour, even if we cannot approve of the manner and direc- 
tion of it. 

The portion of the earth over which the influence of the Russian govern- 
ment extends, and which it is sought to Russianize in every possible way, 
reaches from the frontiers of Germany, deep into Mongolia, to China and 
Japan ; the children who now feel the rod of the Russian schoolmaster, are 
already counted in millions ; the discipline to which they are subjected, 
must, therefore, be an object of interest to the statesman. Our historians 
have been accustomed to assume, as admitted truths, that what has long 
endured must be good, what has slowly advanced will be slow in the re- 
treat ; but on the other hand, a rapid rise forebodes as rapid a descent, and, 
thereupon, we Germans turn our backs upon Russian cultivation as a hot- 
house plant, which, forced into unnatural maturity, will as quickly fade. 
These historical axioms, however, will not avail us in judging of Russia. 
So remarkable and peculiar a people have never before appeared in the 
page of history ; and those who know the interior of the country will admit 
with admiration, the long perspective of hope and futurity that is revealed 
in the spirit of the people, and acknowledge that the astounding resources 
and masses set in motion, promise a greater future than we dare flatter 
ourselves with. The Russians, of all European nations, place most value 
on exterior show, and seem to place the least value on inward worth. The 
Russians swim like dolphins on the surface, and shun the deep waters. 
They stand, in this point of view, as in many others, alone in Europe ; and 
all other nations, even the French, ItaHans, and Spaniards, form a striking 
contrast to the Russians, who touch only the surface of justice, truth, or 
science, but work most elaborately at the details of the outward casing. 
This makes itself felt in their tribunals, where the whole hierarchy of presi- 
dents, upper judges, lower judges, secretaries, &c., are in the best order, 
but where no justice is to be had ; in their army, where rank and the uniform 
are most rigidly exact, and the manoeuvres executed with brilliant precision, 
while tactics and military science, all that forms the very hearts core of 
an army, is wanting. It is the same thing in their commercial arrange- 
ments ; the outward appearance of their wares is extremely elegant, they 



146 



FOREIGN TEACHERS. 



are displayed in the most brilliant manner, but the goods themselves are 
worthless ; it is the same in their schools and educational mstifitions 
^here the buildinf^, the order, the examinations are all excellent but ^vhere 
the pupil, even it' he have collected some knowledge, has yet reaped no 
real harvest, acquired uo animating impulses, »"•• }as ever drank at the 
true fount of the mu.es. The exterior arrangements of all the schools, public 
and private, not only in the two capitals, but even m many of ^fV^^]'_^- 
cial cities, are extremely handsome. The rooms are spacious and well aid 
ovrthe food of the youn,(. people, taken on an average, much better than 
with us in si.nilar Institutions ; and as the government has an eye every 
where, it is impossible that such infamous dens should exist, as appear to 
have Iheir being in England, if a hmidredth part of the statement m 
« Nicholas Nickleby" is to be believed. „ „ . , j 

In the public schools there is a fixed uniform for all the masters and 
pupils, one for week-day, and another for Sundays, and a state umfoi-m 
for hi-h festivals. No lesson is allowed to be given except in uniform ; and 
the colitinual reproofs and chastisements on account of those uniforms take 
up as much and more time than the correction of real faults. Those very 
paltry matters not only waste the time, but exhaust the powers of the 
teacher for more essential objects. The same spirit reigns m the private 
as in the pubUc schools. There is a constant anxiety about 0"*^^;'^ ^PPf^^ 
ance, an unceasing criticising and reprovmg for trifling faults of dress, 
walk, speech, demeanour, &c. &c. , , 

This fflarinff contrast between the splendour of the apparatus, and the 
poverty of the result, has naturally excited a feeling of contempt among 
thinking persons, who, however, as before observed, would do ^ette' to ex- 
amine carefully what has been done by the thousands of Russian schools, 
and not to be too severe on what those schools ha,ve onutted to do. 

Mathematics form a main object of instruction m aU Russian schools and 
are pursued with some success; geography a so, particularly thatofther 
ownffiant land, is cultivated with extraordmarj. and praiseworthy dili- 
Zce^ The history of Russia is carefully taught in detad; and there is no 
foubt that the pupils in a Russian school, taken on the whole, could give a 
better account of^ Russia, both historically and geographically, than the 
pupils of a German school could of their much divided country. The 
weakest points are natural philosophy and classical literature. The neglec 
of the latter may be pardonable enough, but in a country ^'Iw^e nati^al 
productions are yet so little inquired into, and which offers such abmidant 
SrLls for ineLasing the resoui.es of the state, it is q""«°"<=^-; 
able why more attention is not paid to the hidden powers of Nature. The 
state of Medical science may be considered as formmg some exception to so 

sreneral a censure. . ., „ •„„; 

The university of St. Petersburg is too much like our own in its princi- 
pal features, and yields too little fruit to deserve particular mention. One 
of the most important and most pecidiar mstitutions is the so-called J^e- 
t^M Institute," the object of which is to form teachers of all knids, 
teachf s fo the national school,, for the gymnasiums, and even professors 
for the universities. It was established in 1 832, after the Polish revolution. 
The reformation or abohtion of the Polish schools the object of w^nch was 
to deprive the catholic clergy and monks of the education of youth, caused 
a^eariant of Russian teachers to be felt. To supply this want, the 
hJalu ion waffounded, and endowed with nearly aU the privileges of a 



FOREIGN TEACHERS." 



147 



university. It is under the direction of a learned German, who, with the 
assistance of his many ahle co-adjutors, will doubtless accomplish as much 
as can he done by the means at his controul. The Pedagogical Institution 
is maintained by the crown at an expense of not less than 2o0,000 rubles 
yearly. 

The most distinguished pupils who are intended for professors, are 
dismissed with the name and rank of titular counsellor ; books to the 
amount of four hundred rubles, a complete wardrobe, the third part of 
their future salary as a present from the institution, and a considerable 
present for travelHng expenses from the emperor. There are about 160 
young men there at present ; about as many have been ah'eady sent out, 
the greater part to Poland. 

They have all sorts of inventions for facilitating the acquirement of 
languages, historical dates, names, &c. Among others, one was handed 
to us, as quite miraculous in its operation, when we visited the institution. 
It is the invention of a Russian, to impress historical numbers more 
firmly on the memory. The great school board, and the smaller ones of 
the pupils, were covered with a chronological net, arranged for the two 
thousand years after the bii-th of Christ. This net-work of lines crossing 
each other at right angles, had twenty great divisions, each of which was 
destined for a century, and one hundi'ed smaller subdivisions or net stitches, 
ten of a row, and ten under them. Each of these interstices signified a 
year of the century. The teacher made in different interstices a cross, 
and then caused the pupil to repeat the event of the indicated year, or he 
related the historical occurrence, and the pupil made the corresponding 
cross. It was affirmed that the use of this net and the practice con- 
nected with it, enabled the pupil " de s'orienter'^ more quickly in the 
various regions of universal history, than the ordinary chronological 
tables. There was a particular net for Russian history, and the pupils 
showed in our presence, that they had all the celebrated names at their 
fingers' ends. 

Languages are taught in a very practical manner, four or five at a 
time, and for the most part without a grammar. For this purpose they 
have caused polyglot editions of many classical authors to be prepared, 
and the pupils were required in our presence to translate out of Greek 
into Latin, out of Latin into German, French, or Russian, which they did 
very readily. All the instruction is given through the medium of foreign 
languages ; in one lesson the questions are put in Latin, in another in 
Gennan, and so on, and answered in the same tongue. 

Geography is taught with the chalk or pencil in the hand. The pupils 
must directly make an outline of the map on the school-board and their 
own slates. One is desired to give the coast of Europe from the thirtieth 
to the fortieth degree of latitude, another from the fortieth to the fiftieth, 
and so on. The rivers and mountains, in the same way, are not only to be 
named, but drawn. The outlines thus given were wonderfully exact. They 
also named the latitudes and longitudes of the chief cities of Europe ; 
which, nota bene, we, the German examiners, as we gave the names at 
random, could not always do. Our geographical teachers might with 
advantage adopt some of the Russian methods. 

To exercise the pupils in the art of teaching, a system of mutual 
instruction is practised, as in the Lancastrian schools, but of course under 
the direction of the masters. The ablest in each class are made to act 



148 



FOREIGN TEACHERS. 



both as teachers and monitors. It is strange that this method is not 
more in use in German schools, and that the old proverb, " Docendo, 
discimus" has been so long a dead-letter with us. ^ ^ 

The method of teaching drawing in this institution pleased us ex- 
tremely ; the pupil is not merely exercised in a slavish imitation of the 
copy laid before him, but in designing, and in the execution of given sub - 
lects One of the pupils drew on his board for us a very pretty sketch ot a 
Cossack shooting down a Turk, a subject which seems in a very lively 
manner to interest the fancy of the Russian cliild, as well as of the Russian 

^A^theV school peculiar to St. Petersburg, is the " Technical School,'* 
founded about seven years ago by the finance mmister Count Kanlmn. 
Its object is to furnish teachers of the mechanical trades to Russia. 1 wo 
hundred and forty pupils are taken, who receive the necessary mathe- 
matical and other instruction, and are at the same tmie exercised in the 
construction of machines, and in other departments of mechanics. 1 he 
buildings are very extensive, and every art has its, own division. Un 
one building is inscribed in golden letters, " weaving ; on another, 
« dyeing," " mill-building," " lock-making," and so on. The masters 
employed are all Germans. The institution is also made use of to fur- 
nish models of all newly-invented machines, which are afterwards sent as 
patterns into the interior. One of the German directors who showed us 
the place, was well content with the docility of the Russians. Rut 
there is one mischievous word,'' said he, " which will for ever hinder them 
from reaching perfection in anything, and that is * nitshevo (it^^is no 
matter), the use of which no Russian can be persuaded to leave ott.^ ^ 
If a problem is to be solved, the Russian is always ready with his 
" Nitshevo," which acts as a constant impediment to any progress ot a 
solid and enduring kind, which demands time and labour. On the other 
hand, it must be confessed, the Russian's " nitshevo' helps him through a 

thousand difficulties. • Oi. 

The schools for the female sex are scarcely less numerous in fet. 
Petersburg than those for boys. The most important is the great Insti- 
tution of Smolna in the cloister before named. The greater part of the 
800 young maidens brought up there are nobles. Those ot plebeian 
birth are in a separate building, have another dress, other attendance, and 
another table. This institution, and similar ones in other cities, are for 
the daughters of impoverished nobility, what the corps of cadets is tor 
their sons. If they do not know what to do with the sons, they put them 
into the cadet corps ; if they cannot educate their daughters at home, 
they send them to one of these institutions. . ^ , . , , ^ 

All wealthy Russians prefer a private education for their daughters. 
The directresses of all these institutions, and particularly of that in bt. 
Petersburg, are very often women of rank, the widows of general olh- 
cers &c., for whom a provision is thus made. The greater part are well- 
educated and high-born Livonian ladies of German descent. These 
ladies are held in no small consideration ; and those who with us would 
be simple teachers, have here almost the rank and dignity of governors of 

provinces^.^ cost of the Institute of Smolna is 700,000 rubles, or nearly 
1000 for each young lady, for which one might expect something brilliant. 
It is undeniable that all that is capable of outward poUsh receives it m no 



FOREIGN TEACHERS. 



149 



small degree ; but the Hght is a borrowed Hght without wannth, a light 
possessing, no doubt, a certain outward charm, but destitute of that fruit- 
ful and life-giving power, which is the more to be desired, because the 
greater part of these young ladies are destined to be governesses, to carry 
the seeds of mental cultivation into the bosom of their country. 

The Smolna Institute is perhaps the only one of its kind in the world ; 
no where else perhaps is there collected under one roof so much noble 
blood in such fresh youthful veins. There might be a book written from 
the interesting stories to be gathered from the annals of this establish- 
ment. Unfortunately, the fair creatures appear but rarely in pubUc. 
Their way of Uving resembles that of the cloister. Now and then, indeed, 
on high festival days, a long train of carriages and six are seen to defile 
before the gates to indulge the fair chamber-flowers with a mouthful of 

fresh air. 

Besides these public imperial institutions, there are, of course, in St. 
Petersburg, as elsewhere, a multitude of private schools in which business 
is carried on in a right manufacturing spirit. It is a common thing for a 
mother to place her daughters in one of these, on condition that their 
education is to be finished in tAvo or three years ; that is, they must speak 
French, and play a symphony of Spontini. The more quickly the school- 
mistress undertakes to despatch the business, the greater pecuniary advan- 
tages are afforded her. 

The examinations in such establishments are the most showy spectacles 
that can be imagined. For a foiinight before, the house is cleaned and 
trimmed and adorned ; and for two months before, the practising and 
learning by heart goes on unweariedly, that all may go off smoothly on 
the great day. The mothers, sisters, and aunts go in state in their coaches 
and four. The scientific part of the examination is followed by a concert, 
at which the pupils perform ; and then a ballet, in which they display 
their skill in the dance. After all this, the division of the prizes takes 
place amid the uproar of trumpets and kettle-drums ; and the whole con- 
cludes with a supper and a ball, whereupon the parents drive home again, 
enraptured with the intellectual improvement of their children. 



CHAPTER XX. 



THE BUTTER- WEEK. 



The festival of Easter, a great one with all Christian communities, is 
particularly distinguished in the Russian Greek church; so much so, 
indeed, both in reference to the time it lasts, as the pomp of its celebration, 
that all other holidays sink to nothing before it. Even as spring com- 
monly sends many fine days as forerunners to announce its approach, so 
the Easter festival, *Hhe festival," as a Russian calls it, is preceded by a 
whole series of smaller festivities, and succeeded again by a kind of epi- 
logue ; and these hohdays, taken all together, stretch over no uiconsider- 



150 



THE BUTTER- WEEK. 



THE BUTTER-WEEK. 



151 



able portion of the year— over nearly two months. If we reflect that a 
Russian spends a sixth part of his Hfe in keeping Easter, and that all the 
loys, sorrows, privations, business, work, and play of the whole Russian 
people, during so considerable a portion of time, are determnicd by the 
festive occasion, it must be worth wliile to take a nearer view of a festival 
of so important a character, and so wide an influence. 

The Easter festival itself begins in the middle of the night of the 
Saturday in Passion-week, and its joys are loud and incessant through the 
eiffht following days. This centre of festivity is preceded by a seven 
wieks' fast as a preparation for the feast, and before the seven weeks fast 
comes an eight days' feast as a preparation for the fast. All these sprmg 
merry-makings may be thus divided into three consecutive celebrations. 

Firstly, Eight days drinking and carousing, called by the Russians 

Masslanitza (Butter-week). _ . , ., r xi. ^xi,^„ 

Secondly, Seven weeks* fast, called, to distinguish it from the other 
fasts, " Velikoi posd" (the great fast). 

And, thirdly, Easter itself, and its attendant tram. 
In the great world of St. Petersburg, the approach of the great last 
is announced by the balls and other carneval revels coming fast and 
furious, even as early as the beghining of February. For the mass of the 
people, the sports and pastimes with which they take leave of roast meat 
and other pleasures are all pressed into one week, the " butter-week, as it is 
called, which faUs generally in the middle, or towards the end of February. 
The butter-week contains the quintessence of all Russian festivity, ^id, 
except the Easter-week, there is no week hi the whole year which ofters 
to a St. Petersburger such an abundance of earthly enjoyment as this. 
Firstly, as its name implies, the week is one of butter ; butter is eaten 
instead of oil, which must be substituted during the fast-days. The Mass- 
lanitza may be literally said to be redolent of butter. The favourite dish 
of this season is composed of blinni, a kind of pancake baked m butter, 
served up with a sauce of melted butter, and eaten with caviare. Ihe 
blinni belong peculiarly to the butter-week and are baked at no other time 
of the year, but at this season they are served up punctually at every break- 
fast In St. Petersburg they are to be had in perfection at the Russian 

Coffee-house kept by Mr. ,— unfortunately, Ih a ve forgotten the name 

of this excellent person, but the taste of his bliimi is fresh m my recollection. 
After a butter-week breakfast of blinni, nothing is more agreeable than 
a walk to the ** Katsheli," or swings, the usual amusement enjoyed between 
breakfast and dinner during the butter-week. It is the only one in which 
all classes of society partake in common, from the head ot all, the en- 
throned summit of their Babylonian tower, down to the lowest and 

dirtiest of its base. „ . , ,i v i i. j. 

The Russians dehght as much in all motion where the limbs are at rest, 
and the body changes place by means of a machine, as they eschew aU cor- 
poreal exercise,, which keeps the muscles in play. Hence their plea- 
sure in the Russian mountains, as they are called ; m swings, sledge- 
driving, see-sawing on elastic planks, whirling through the air on round- 
abouts^ &c. These are amusements in which a Russians delight is 
part of his very nature, and they are enjoyed alike by prince and pea- 
sant. The fibres of the muscular system of the Russian are sluggish and 
unelastic ; gymnastic exercises are nowhere more neglected. Their blood 
is voluptuous, their nervous system excitable ; hence this swinging and 



gliding, this flying and floating without any effort on their own part, is 
pecuharly to their taste. 

Their inventions of this land are innumerable ; but the chief and crown 
of all Russian pleasures for the people is that expressed by the favourite 
word KatsheU (swing), wliich includes all similar pastunes.* 

For the erection of the KatsheH of the butter-week they choose a large 
and particularly long piece of ground, which is never wanting in the ex- 
tensive Russian towns. In St. Petersburg the icy floor of the Neva was 
formerly in use ; but since the accident of some years ago, when tlie ice 
gave way under the pressure, and swallowed up a multitude of the 
swingers, the Admiralty square has been the chosen spot. 

Long trains of sledges, laden with beams and planks, are seen moving 
for days before in that direction, and soon, mider the strokes of the ready 
Russian hatchet, theatres and other wooden buildings, which recal the 
palaces of St. Petersburg 140 years ago, are reared amidst the splendid 
edifices of the Admu-alty, the War-ofiice, the Senate and Synod Houses, 
&c. These booths are erected m long rows : among them are theatres 
capable of holduig some thousands ; and these ephemeral buildings, aping 
the magnificence of stone buildings, are decorated with galleries, pillars, 
balconies, &c. At one of these theatres I saw several hundreds busily at 
work, and swarming Hke so many ants ; with their hammers, saws, and 
liatchets, they afforded no uninteresting spectacle in themselves, even 
before the stage had been prepared for the show. 

To foreigners, the most striking of these preparations are the ice moun- 
tains and the method of their construction. A narrow scafPold is raised 
to the height of thirty or more feet, on the top of which is a gallery, 
ascended on one side by wooden steps ; on the other Is the great descent, 
very steep at first, and gradually dechnmg till it becomes level with the 
ground. It is formed of huge square blocks of ice laid upon planks. 
Under a few strokes of the hatchet the beautiful sohd crystal masses 
assume a regular form, and over the whole w^ater is throwTi from time to 
time, which cements or rather ices the blocks together. Where it is level 
with the ground dams of snow are formed on either side, and the gulley 
between filled with water, which, freezing smooth as glass, lengthens the 
slide. Two such ice mountains stand always opposite one another, so that 
their paths, only separated by the snow dams, run parallel to each other. 

The Enghsh say that they invented these ice mountains. They have 
probably improved the mechanical part, but the amusement itself is an 
ancient and a national one, and is practised over all Russia. In the court- 
yards of most of the great houses in St. Petersburg there are such ice 
mountains erected for the amusement of the children ; and even in the 
halls of some of the wealthier Russians, elegant " rutschbergs" are to be 
found, with this difference, that the slide Is made not of ice but of pohshed 
mahogany, or of some other smooth wood, down which the little sledges 
gUde with great rapidity. There is a mahogany " rutschberg ' even in the 
imperial palace. In every town and village these slippery dechvities are 

* When a Russian family removes into the country for the summer, the first tiling 
done for the amusement of the company is to repair the old swings and to erect new 
ones. Scarcely has spring set in than the peasants throng to the birch- woods, and 
bending down the elastic branches of the trees, form them into swmgs, where the 
young people of both sexes pass their leisure, singing and swinging. In some neigh- 
bourhoods there arc public swings, where old and young loimge and swing for hours. 



152 



THE BUTTER-WEEK. 



THE BUTTER-WEEK. 



153 



crowded with youths and maidens rushing down with the swiftness of 
arrows. The sledges are made of ice, dexterously shaped into ships. In 
the hollow they lay straw to sit upon, and in front a hole is bored for a 
rope. In the climate of Russia these sledges are lasting enough. I saw 
one morning in St. Petersburg a striking instance of how much these ice 
mountains form a national amusement. I wa^ by chance very early m a 
distant quarter of the city, and obsei-ved mounted on the roof of a smaU 
buUding a number of people, servants, women and children, whose slippers 
and floating hair betrayed that they had not long left their beds. They 
seemed busy about something, and I concluded there must be a chimney on 
fire, or something of that kind. No such thing ; they had formed a snow 
mountain from the roof to the ground, and in a few minutes down went 
the whole company, shouting for joy, on a straw mat, which did duty pro 

tempore for a sledge. a j • i o 

When all the bootlis, mountains, and swings in the Admiralty Square 
are firmly fixed (that is, for the temperature of St. Petersburg, the greater 
part of the pillars having no other foundation than a hole in the earth 
filled with snow and water, which holds them as firm as a rock', unless 
the St. Petersburg February belies its nature), the fun begins on tlie first 
Sunday of the " butter-week," and then the gliding and sliding, swinging 
and singing, whirling and twirling, tea-drinking and nut-cracking, that 
make up the " Massliinitza," go merrily on for the eight stated days. 

Tea and nuts are the staple comestibles at a Russian Katsheli. The tea- 
sellers stand with their tables at the doors of the theatres and booths, 
arranged in the same way as they arc found at the corners of the streets 
in the towns. In the middle stands a huge machine, from whose chimney 
a column of steam curls upwards from morning till night. Round about 
are a multitude of teapots of all sizes, in which you may have double, 
single, or half portions of tea. In general only a glass of tea is asked for. 
Behind his table, stamping and slapping his hands, stands the seller, bawhng 
unceasingly " Gentlemen, will you not please to take a glass of warm 
tea ?" Off goes his hat to every one w4io looks at him ; and as he has 
little doubt that tea is wanted, he often begins to fill the glass at once, 
inquirmg only, " Is it your pleasure with cream r The Russian m general 
drinks it with a slice of lemon instead. Or, " How will you take the sugar ?'* 
for the real Russian custom is to bite off a piece of sugar before taking 
his tea ; only those who affect foreign manners put the lump in at once. 
Yet more numerous than the tea-sellers are the dealers in nuts. Their 
tables, standing under tents and inclined towards the street, are divided 
into compartments filled with all kinds of nuts— Oriikhi (hazel-nuts), Val- 
lotski and Gratsheski orakhi (Italian and Greek nuts), Ukramski orakhi 
(Ukraine nuts), and Funduki, the largest kind of hazel nuts, equal in size to 

a pigeon's egg, ,, , .1 14 

However many these merchants may be, they seem all busilv employed, 
and seldom lay aside their scales, or the shovels out of which they offer 
samples of their wares. In a few days the snowy floor of the Admiralty 
Square is regulariy paved with nut-shells, and looks as if a whole army 
of nut crackers had encamped there. 

Nuts, sweatmeats, and honey-cakes are the only eatables to be had. 
Eating-houses, wine and brandy shops, are not aUowcd on the elegant 
square of the Admiralty, as they might give rise to indecorous scenes. A 
honey-cake may be eaten with grace, and so may a bojibon presented by a 



lover to his mistress : even a nut may be tolerated if nibbled at squirrel 
fashion, and not demolished by an uncivil crash and a grimace. Cakes 
and tea may be nipped and sipped in public, but hunger and thirst let 
every animal satisfy in his own lair. 

It struck me as odd enough that the Russian street merchants offer 
eveiy thing to every body.* Either very elegant people must buy very 
inelegant wares, or the sellers must be so persuaded of their excel- 
lence, or so bewitched by the vision of a few possible copeks, that they 
do not percive how little chance they have of finding customers in such 

a class. 

It has always appeared singular to me that there are so few Bajozzos 
and Policinellos at a Russian Katsheli, as no people are readier in satire 
and persiflage, or in imitating the oddities and peculiarities of others. 
The slightest anecdote related by a Russian of the lower class, is always 
accompanied by the liveUest mimicry, and on a thousand occasions he 
shows himself as a ready speaker and actor. Nevertheless it is a fact that 
all the hariequins and* jesters who travel about the Russian fairs are 
foreigners— chiefly Germans and Italians. The greater part of these 
worthies are stupid enough, hke many a journalist, whose profession 
makes it daily incumbent on him to show liis wit. The crowd follow, 
however, laughing aloud wherever the music from the balcony of a theatre 
annoimces that such a one is about to exhibit. Perhaps the very pecuHar 
Russian spoken by these NeapoHtans and Hamburgers may make them 
comic in their own despite, for it is certain that the natives seem exces- 
sively diverted by them. 

Among the Petersburg Bajozzos, however, there was one who had a 
great fimd of humour, but he was a native Russian. 



THE GULANIE. 

In the front of the booths and theatres swarming with the tea-drink- 
ing, nut-cracking pedestrians, there is always a broad space reserved for 
the equipages of the grandees, who make their appearance about noon, 
to see the fair. A universal driving in carriages takes place regularly 
in the "butter-week" at the Katsheli, the Easter-week, and on the 
first of May, throughout Russia. On their estates, the wealthy Russians 
and their guests enjoy these " Gulanies" in the evening ; every thing that 
can be called horse or vehicle is put in requisition ; droshkies, kaleshes, 
chaises, landaus, himtlng and prorislon carts, are mounted by the whole 
domestic population, and away they go coaching it through the country. 

The enormous number of equipages in a Russian city, where, from a 
tailor of any eminence upwards, every body keeps one, renders these Gu- 
lanies very amusing. The luxury in this respect is greater in fact in some 



♦ A thousand times I have been offered " griishneviki," a disgusting kind of fast- 
cake, baked in stinking oil, and other delicacies of that sort, with " Ugodno 'ss ?'* 
(" Will you please to buy the very best cakes ?") And often I have felt inclined to 
answer " Booby ! don't you see I am a gentleman, and do not devour such filth ?" 
Dut when I looked at the smiling face, courteously lifted hat, and heard the ready 
jest, I could only reply " Thank you my merry friend, keep them for yourself." 



154 



THE GULANIE. 



THE GULANIE, 



155 






provincial cities than in the two capitals, as in the former there is no pro- 
hibition of four or six horses for certain ranks, and every one is at hberty 
to make his team as long as he likes, or as he can. 

The splendid horses of a Russian equipage do not, however, show 
to so much advantage in the slow parade step to which they are con- 
fined by the throng of carriages on such occasions as the Katsheh, as 
they do when going at their usual speed. The horses are not so round 
in form as our Holstein and Mecklenburg breed, nor have they the 
supurb manes and tails of the Andalusian race, nor did they seem to 
me to step well together. The enormously long traces, too, necessarily 
drag on the ground in a walk. They are hke the ostrich, which makes 
no very pleasing figure when walking, but which running at full speed 
with outspread pinion seems borne on the ^vings of the wind. 

The merchants are known by then- brightly furbished kaleshes, drawn 
by two black horses, with their manes plaited into a multitude of Httle 
tfiols. The foreign ambassadors generally adopt the Russian style in 
the number and caparison of their horses. The carriages go so slowly, 
that their contents may be contemplated at leisure ; fair young maidens, 
with their pretty French governesses ; countesses and pnncesses, enveloped 
in their sables and silver fox furs, rechning at their ease and surv'eying the 
crowd through their eye-glasses ; boys in the national costume with then- 
tutors ; here a corpulent merchant with his long beard, and his equally 
loUy spouse ; there a bishop or metropoUtan, meditating on the vanities 
of the world ; then a foreign ambassador, then a nuncio from the pope, 
reflecting on the increasing power of the northern heresy. Further on, 
twenty court-kaleshes, each with six horses, and filled with young girls— 
these are the damsels from the Smolnoi Convent. English merchants, 
German artists, French doctors, Swedish professors, Tm-ks, Persians, lar- 
tars, even Chinese, and last of aU an emperor and his whole court. ^ 

A numerous corps of gendarmes are bus'dy employed in keeping 
order among the equipages, which increase in number so greatly at last, 
that while one end of the Ihie is turning on Peter's place, round the 
rock of Peter the Great, the other is turning round the base ot Alex- 
ander's column, a good English mile apart. Sometimes a carnage will 
attempt to get out of the line, to the grievous discomposure of the breath- 
less gendarmes, who, however, behave very well in general, and without 
respect to persons. I saw once a warm debate arise between one and 
a first mmister of state, who wanted to break the line. The coach-and- 
four ffotthe better at last of the soldier, who was alone, and forced its 
way through. The poor defeated gendarme shook his head angrily 
when he saw there was no help, and called after the minister, \ou ought 
to be ashamed of yourself, my lord ! this is the second time to day that 
you have disturbed the order. Shame upon you, my lord. 

On the whole, the. lower class content themselves with the very harni- 
less amusements at the Katsheli, except that here and there a few indulge 
perhaps too freely in their potations. "Forgive me it is butter-week, 
is tiien pretty generally admitted as an excuse. " Ah sir, don t look so 
lonff at the picture, it is the last day of butter-week," pleaded an old 
sol(Her, who opened the door for me at Binilow s picture He seemed 
pretty well charged at the time, I thought, but he assured me that he 
must have a glass or two more to enable liim to encounter a seven weeks 



fast One must do the St. Petersburg police the jusface to eay that 
the 'streets are rarely disturbed by any scenes of brutal intemperance. 
The very quiet nature of Russian intoxication may perhaps partly account 
for this. A Russian coachman is often as full as a bottle m a bm, and 
yet shows no sign of any deficiency, till he fairly tumbles off Ins box. 

THE BURNING THEATRE. 

Amusing as it is to occupy a convenient place at this spectacle of the 
KatheTi, where the Admiralty-place is the stage, bmldmgs like the \\inter 
Palace, the Senate House, and the War-office, serve as side scenes and 
where the whole population of St. Petersburg appear as actors, still itis 
difficult to forget that the festive scene has witnessed two most tragical 
occurrences ; the one was the giving way of the ice on the ^eva when so 
many found a watery grave in the midst of their thoughtless --m^^^^ 
the other, and mor/ recent, was the burning of the wooden thea ^e J 
must confess, few narratives have excited in me more horror than those 
connected with the fire just alluded to. Thousands may die on the battk 
field ; we honour them,' but their death fills us not with dread they win 
a glorious name, and they die with honour. Thousanas -eet hen' end 
upon the sick bed; we weep for them, but it is ^l^^^^^f ^^^"f "^f.^f. 
they should die. But that thousands by mere accident, m the midst ot 
sports, in the most thoughtless revelry, should bid adieu to this fair world 
to all their plans and hopes, stifled in a miserable wooden ^po^ like so 
many rats and mice-this is fearful, and remmds us teo awfully of the 
feeble tenure by which we hold existence. 

The wooden theatres at the KatsheU are some of them very large. 
One in particular generally surpasses aU the others in this respect, and is 
capable^of holding 5000 persons. In this it was that the fire took place 
when the scene was to represent some firework or illumination. At lirst 
those behind the scenes, hoping to extinguish the flames, said nothing 
about it; as they increased, the audience applauded loudly supposmg it 
to be the promised spectacle. Suddenly the Bajozzo rushed forwards 
with a look of horror, shouting aloud, " We are on fire, save yourselves 
you who can !" The audience answered by loud laughter, at the admu-aWy 
feigned fear as they supposed it to be. Thereupon as it was ^possible 
foAiim to make himself heard, the director ordered the curtam to be raised 
and a mass of flame and smoke became visible Screams of ll^^^j^f 
from the thousands of throats whence loud laughter had issued just before. 
Each grasped convulsively those dearest to them, and rushed to the doors. 
These were but few, the size of the place considered, and a fearful length 
of time elapsed before the foremost gave waj^ to those behmd. The flames 
in the mean time gained rapidly upon the pine planks around them, leap- 
ing from slip to slip, and already showing their fiery tongues among the 
dense mass of spectators. Most unfortunately it happened that one of the 
large folding-doors opened inwards. By the pressm-e of the throng it wa^ 
flung to, and could not be moved one way or the other On the outside 
the attempts to rescue the poor victims were at first feeble, for who in he 
midst of ffaiety dreams of such a fearful chastisement ? Those withm, in the 
mean time, compressed the anguish of years into a few minutes as they 



156 



THE BURNING THEATRE. 



'V 
v.. 



>' i 



stood breast to breast shrieking in vain their frantic " Forwards !" to those 
in advance. The whole mass were stifling, the flames leaping threaten- 
ingly over their heads, yet they were only separated by a few thin boards 
from the free bright air, and in a few minutes more they might liave rent 
asmider their fragile tomb with their hands and teeth. Fancy sickens at 
the contemplation of the suffering of those minutes ; only one risen from 
the ashes could truly paint occurrences that rent asunder the chords of life 
when suddenly awakened from the slumber of thoughtless enjoyment to the 
wildest pitch of terror and despair. 

The police would not at first allow of any individual effort for the rescue 
of the sufferers ; a merchant who had seized a spade succeeded, however, 
in defiance of them, in dashing tlirough a plank, and bringing nearly sixty 
half-suffocated creatures from this harlequin's hell. The worthy man was 
afterwards rewarded for his act of courage and humanity by an order, and, 
as he was poor, by a pension of 2000 rubles. ^ 

The terrible news soon spread through the town that Lepmann s theatre 
was on fire, and thousands struggling with the most horrible of deaths. 
The anguish became universal. The consternation of the city, the scenes 
of agony and transport that followed must have been seen to be understood. 
The emperor, who had left the Winter Palace opposite at the first news of 
the fire, was met by shiieking and despairing women calling on liim to save 
their husbands, sons, and brothers ; he could only answer, " My childi'en, 

I will save all I can." 

When the fire was got under, and life and flame withm were extm- 
guished together, the dreadful task began of digging out the bodies. The 
sight was beyond all conception terrible when the fallen beams were 
removed, disclosing the heaps of charred and stifled bodies, which were 
dra"-ged out with hooks, like loaves out of an oven. Some were burnt to 
a cinder ; others only roasted ; of many the hair of their heads was only 
singed, while on others it was burnt off; their eyes were destroyed, their 
faces black and calcined, yet some still were decked with the gaily-coloured 
handkerchiefs and holiday clothes, which the thickness of the pressure had 
saved from injury ! These were far more terrible to look on than those 
entirely burnt. In one part of the builduig that remained standing a 
crowd of dead Avere discovered in an erect posture, like an army of 
shadows from the lower world. One woman was found with her head 
leaning over the front of the gallery, her face hidden in her handker- 
chief. A gentleman who saw the bodies brought out told me that he 
was unable to touch food for three days after, and a lady who liad glanced 
at the terrible spectacle from a distance wa5 quite out of her senses for 

The number of those who perished was officially announced at 300, but 
I was told by one person that he himself had counted fifty waggons, each 
laden with from ten to fifteen corpses; and some people, who had every 
means of obtainmg correct information, made an estimate, whose amount 
I am unwilling to repeat, lest it should be thought improbable. ^ 

Some were brought to life again; many died afterwards in the hospitals 
from the injuries received. One little boy was found sitting quite unhurt 
under a bench, where he had crept when the falling fragments began to 
shower down fire and flame upon the heads of the doomed multitude. The 
beams and dead bodies had so fallen over him as to form a protecting roof 



THE BURNING THEATRE. 



157 






against the flame and smoke, and tliere the child remained till he was 
dragged out. 

On the following day public prayers w^ere offered up for the souls of the 
sufferers on the place that had witnessed the scene of their last agony. 



THE GREAT MASKED BALL. 

The upper classes take part, as we have seen, in the common amuse ' 
ments of the Katsheli, but it is only for a few hours at noon ; they resoii; 
then to other diversions, and revel after their own fashion. To speak first 
of the theatres. Many as tliere are in St. Petersburg, they are all in full 
play during the butter- week ; while it lasts, there is no rest for the poor 
actors. Towards the close of the week they play twice a day, morning 
and evening, French, German, Russian, and Italian. In the great theatre 
(Bolshoi Theater) the great masked ball takes place in the butter-week, 
and this may also be reckoned among the popular diversions, since every 
well-dressed person is at liberty to go, whatever be his rank, the emperor 
himself holding it his duty to appear there. 

I was present at the ball in the year 1837. The entertainment was to 
begin at eleven, and the play lasted till half-past nine. I was curious to 
see how the Russians, w4th their acknowledged quickness of execution, 
would change the theatre into a ball-room in so short a time. As soon as 
the last spectator had left (I w^as the onl person who remained, leaning 
against a pillar of the impeiial box), the great chandelier was raised, and 
darkness fell over the w4de space. By degrees some hundred workmen 
appeared with lights, and, while one party began to clear out the pit and 
orchestra, another directly followed with beams and planks over the stage, 
and began with saws and axes to raise a din through which only now and 
then an order and directing voice could be heard. This w ide dark space, 
this rasping and hammering, this carpentering, calling, bawling, and 
commanding, seemed like another chaos under me, whence some great 
birth was to proceed. As fast as the platform from the stage to the pit 
advanced, the caqjenters were followed by a crowd of chattering women 
with brooms, sweeping aside the shavings and dust. On the stage a cloud 
seemed to descend from the air. It was a bale of silk and woollen stuffs, 
which was received beneath by creative hands. These, partly draping 
and partly sewing, quickly transformed the stage into a beautiful Turkish 
tent, open in front. A gallery for the musicians was no less quicldy 
reared at the back of the tent, and at the sides benches for the spectators. 
In the front, as if by magic, the platform proceeded meanwhile to com- 
pletion ; and stairs were made to ascend to the boxes on either side of the 
imperial grand box, which, by taking away the doors, seats, and balus- 
trades, were changed into passages. The clock struck ten, a quarter past, 
half-past, and at every quarter the workmen had evidently accomplished a 
part of their task ; at a quarter to eleven the last sounds of the hammer 
and saw were heard. The floor was made, the supports firm, the cloud of 
dust cleared away, the ceiling opened, and the magnificent chandelier 
descended over the yomig creation of the decorated ball-room. At th« 
same time, round the balustrades twinkled forth the thousand stars of wax- 
lights ; a lackey passed over the floor, scattering perfumes from a large 
vessel, as if he, the first man, were offering insense to the new sun of this 



158 



THE GREAT MASKED BALL. 



THE GREAT MASKED BALL. 



159 



I 






m 



young world ; which was peopled as rapidly as it was created. At eleven 
the people came streaming in, and not only men and women, but animals 
too, frogs, birds, &c., and none of the customary characters of a masquerade 
were wanting. At half-past eleven the emperor entered, and the first 
music thundered forth. It was a chorus, accompanied by the whole 
orchestra. It is usual to open baUs which have any claim to nationality 
with such a chorus, accompanied by the orchestra. The usual piece is the 
Russian national hymn, " For the Emperor and sacred Russia.' As soon 
as the emperor appeared, all my thoughts of chaos and a new creation 
vanished ; I had no longer eye or sense for any thing else than this repre- 
sentative of a power that has not its like on earth. Wlierever the emperor 
placed himself, he seemed to regulate the movements of all around him, as 
a strong magnet does the iron. Every where a respectful circle of stanng 
spectators formed round him, but were kept within their own orbit hy 
some invisible power. Wherever he could, his imperial majesty min- 
gled with his subjects, and went diligently up stairs and do^vn stairs. 
The young ladies in dominoes flocked curiously about him, and those he 
took goodnaturedly on his arm and walked about with them, exciting 
them to jest with him. Many ladies who cannot in any other way ap- 
proach him attend this ball, merely for the sake of hanging for once upon 
the emperor's arm. He never was at a loss for an answer, but replied 
very graciously to all that was said to him. As I passed him once I heard 
the mask upon his arm say, " Ah ! comme tu es beau !" " Oh, oui," an- 
swered the emperor, " but if you had seen what I was formerly !" Another 
mask said to him, " II y a peu de dames aujourd'hui." " Oui, mais quant 
h, moi, je suis content, je te prends pour cent." One fair lady, however, 
seemed to weary him with her obtrusiveness, and as he caught sight of one 
of his nobles he fastened lor upon his arm, saying " Voila, T-— , iine 
joUe petite dame pour toi." The nobleman walked about with her for 
a while, and then took an opportunity of civilly getting rid of her. I was 
glad, for the poor belle's sake, that she was so closely masked. 

Besides the emperor and many Russian nobles, there were several German 
princes present, and accident brought about, in the course of the evening, 
some curious conjunctions. For example, the heir of a German kingdom 
joined in the same group with the presumptive heir to a grocer's shop on 
the Prospekt ; the emperor of all the Russias with a French governess ; 
the finance minister of an empire of sixty millions of inhabitants with a 
merchant's clerk disguised as a frog. And again, in the same corner 
might be seen a throng of ambassadors and generals, natives of the ever- 
green isles of Albion, of southern Scythia, and of the summits of the 
Caucasus ; well-dressed mechanics, and Turkisli merchants. It is only 
the common people, however, in Russia who play their parts well in mask)?. 
I have often seen Russian peasants or servants improvise a masquerade 
with great humour, but the great do not get through the thing so well. 
The greater part of the latter were in ordinary black coats, and even 
dominoes were rare among them. It is not considered genteel to assume 
a character. Those who wished to enter into the spirit of the thing seemed 
to feel constrained among the rational unmasked gentry, and^ the un- 
masked seemed to look down with much scorn on the harlequin }a<;kets of 
the others. The emperor comes to please the public, and the ministers, 
generals, &c. come on the emperor's account ; but otherwise the gi'cat 
world do not honour tlie place with their presence. Only in the boxes 



some of the first families appear for a short tune, to have somethmg new 
to say at the private balls to which they are going at a later hour. 

When a Russian noble wishes to give eclat to his fete, his first step is 
to secure the presence of the emperor and empress as his guests. Every 
noble is at liberty to invite the emperor, who makes much less difficulty of 
visiting his subjects than would be exacted by the etiquette of most other 
courts. The fete-giver puts on his dress of ceremony and drives to court, 
where he signifies to the grand-master of the ceremonies that he wishes 
to give a ball, if it be the pleasure of the emperor and empress to honour 
it by their presence ; and at the same time presents the Hst of the com- 
pany invited, which is generally returned unaltered. Now and then a 
name is struck out, or the desire intimated that no foreigners be present, 
the emperor desiring for that night to be alone with his subjects. 

A chief article of luxury on such an occasion is the display of a numerous 

retinue. At one given by Count Br , a hundred servants in Hvery 

were stationed on the stairs alone. The servants of the house of course 
are not enough, and ten rubles an evening are paid on such occasions for 
a good-looking figure for the part. The liveries of course must be all 
new for the occasion ; and at the count's fete fifty wore violet-coloured 
velvet trimmed with silver, and fifty purple velvet with gold, the colours 
of the lord and lady of the house. On every stair stood alternately an 
orange or lemon tree, and a velvet-clad domestic, from the house-door to 
that of the saloon. The present empress is a great lover of flowers, con- 
sequently every ball in St. Petersburg presents a profusion of them. One 
room is generally arranged as a winter-garden, and rose-bushes and 
arbours of roses of every shade form inviting nooks for refreshment. 

Abundant as the diversions are during the Russian carneval, they double 
and triple during the last days of the butter-week. Fast and furious 
waxes the revelry during the three or four days preceding the great fast. 
The schools break up, the public ofiices are closed, the great theatres give 
representations morning and evening, and the twelve bajazzos on the 
Katsheli announce some nove% every five minutes ; the rich give de- 
jeuners dansmits, which last till five or six in the evening, take a few hours 
rest, and then make a new and briUiant toilette for a second ball at night. 
Amongst the common people, in the meantime, the drunkenness of the 
evening concludes the intoxication of the morning ; the pubHc, wherever it 
is to be seen, seems in the best possible humour, and applauds every thing 
and everybody. The emperor and all his court drive about in their 
brilliant equipages ; down rush the sledges from the ice mountains till the 
ice glows again ; the swings are at full flight, the bells^ of the wooden 
houses in the roundabouts tingle without ceasing ; the bajazzos announce 
from hour to hour how long the Masslanitza has to last : nimbly rolls his 
lesson off the tongue of him who shows the lions and the boa-constrictor, 
that he may despatch one set of customers and get as many more as pos- 
sible. All the pulses of life beat prestissimo— all seem eager to dram the 
last drop in the cup of joy, until the hour of midnight strikes and pro- 
claims the beginning of the fast. Every dancing couple is brought to a 
sudden halt, and every one departs homeward to sweeten the tediousness 
of the fast with the remembrance of the enchanting joys in which the last 
days of the carneval were brought to a close. 



160 



CHAPTER XXI. 



THE GREAT FAST. 



When one enjoys roast meat, meat soups, milk, and eggs, every day 
and all days as we other Christians do, we are only half aware how 
much savouiiness and strength the animal kingdom lends to our food. 
Nothing but a Russian fast can properly teach one how excessively flat and 
insipid vegetables are without a mixture of animal food, and what a very 
secondary part they play in our kitchens. The severity of the Russian 
fast banishes not only flesh and fowl, but milk, eggs, butter, and even 
sugar on account of the small mixture of animal substance used in the 
refining. Animal food is the basis of our whole kitchen, and vegetables 
appear with grace and propriety only as the companions of meat, as the 
wife appears to advantage only in the company of the husband. Soups 
made of kwas and mushrooms, fish, and cakes flavoured with oil, tx^a and 
coffee with almond-milk, mushrooms again with cucumbers in vinegar, 
those are the dainties that succeed the fat blinnis, rich pasties, cakes and 
r6tis of the butter- week. Neither is wine or any spirituous Hquor per- 
mitted, whereby a cook might give some spirit to his mushroomed, fishy, 
oily, fasting sauces, or the tea drinker to his watery beverage. The people 
of the lower class exclude even fish in the first and last wrecks of the fast, 
as they do on the Wednesdays and Fridays in the remaining five. These 
two days, which must always take precedence of the others, are distinguished 
in the last week by total abstinence. The very strictly pious extend this 
additional severity of observance to the whole seven weeks, with a three 
days' total abstinence in the week before Easter. Even the upper classes 
observe the fasts much more strictly than they do in cathoHc countries. 
The first and last weeks, with the Wednesdavs and Fridays of the re- 
mainder, are generally religiously observed. The greatest number of 
infractions of the fiist bear reference to the brandy -bottle, the very point 
in which abstinence would be most beneficial ; some maintain that the 
Russians drink as much of it during the fasts as at any other tinie. It is 
not, however, called brandy, but it is enjoyed under the disguise of all 
manner of euphemisms. 

It is remarkable enough how carefully a Russian watches that nothing 
of an animal substance pass his lips when he has really made up liis mind 
to fast in earnest. A young girl will throw away a whole cup of tea 
directly, if she smell that her French governess has put cream into it 
instead of almond-milk. Occasionally mothers take it on themselves to 
give their little ones a dispensation on the ground of indisposition. " You 
can't think how this disgusting fast does try one," said a youth to his 
tutor. " Last Easter I took the sacrament, and for fourteen days together 
we had nothing but oil, flour, and fish, and had to go three times a day to 
church. And then the everiasting standing, crossing, and kneeling, you 
have no notion how it affected me ! But at Easter, there was the supper 
at my uncle's ; I was not lazy there !" 

After a fast-day breakfast, a walk on the Admiralty-place, to which 



THE GREAT FAST. 



161 



people instinctively resort, is a most dismal affair. It is all scattered over 
with ruins of temporary houses and booths, the ground paved with nut- 
shells and orange-peel. The wooden horses of the roundabout stand idle, 
the gaily decorated ships and swings lie shattered and heaped together 
like wood for burning, the smooth mirrors of the ice mountains are broken 
up with iron bars, and the poor merry-andrew, the Bajazzo, what has 
become of him ? he that for days together seemed inexhaustible in fun and 
jest ? It is melancholy to see how rational he looks as he pants and perspires 
under the burden of planks, the sad remains of his fool's palace. The 
thousand voices that stunned us but the day before are silent, or only em- 
ployed in reckoning their gains or settling with their merchants. All are 
stretching, yawning, and shuddering at the joylessness of the long seven 

weeks before them. . i, , 11 j 1 

The greater part of the public amusements, especially balls and plays, 
are strictly prohibited. Assemblies and soirees, ^vithout dancing or mask- 
ing, take place of the tumultuous ball, and as cow's milk is changed into 
almond milk, butter into oil, and flesh into fish, so plays become public 
declamations and improvisations, operas change into concerts; and the 
theatre, which must not act plays, is o^^n iov tableaux vivants. ihe 
seven fasting weeks to the gay world are one long night, in which only 
the modest stars and moon faintly gleam, till all at once, like Apollo with 
his steeds of light, the bright sun of Easter breaks forth m lull splendour. 
In the butter-week the dresses of the belles at a St. Petersburg party are 
o-littering with a profusion of jewels ; for the fasts, the bnlhant diamond 
fs too glaring ; the single row of pearis in the hair, here and there the 
modest turquoise peeping forth like a violet or forget-me-not, and coral 
ornaments for the arms and throat, are alone seen at the reunions, where 
conversation and song have displaced the waltz and polonaise.* 

The fasting weeks are the golden han^ests of the musical artists ; every 
evening some new singer or violinist is announced with recommendations 
from Vienna or Paris, and sometimes one will undei-take alone to amuse 
the St Petersburg public, which would before have tasked the art of a 
hundred high priests of Thalia. The best of the fast-time amusements 
are the tableaux vivants, which are given with great taste and magnih- 
cence, and I cannot understand why these representations should be con- 
fined to this one season. , /. .. r 

The monotony of the fasts is now and then broken by the feast ot some 
saint, which may fall in this time. Happy the saint thus celebrated ; he 
may reckon upon numerous adorers ; and happy the chUd whose birthday 
occurs at .this time. He may be sure it will be kept till his eightieth 
year with great joy and festivity; first by his parents, then by his brothers 
and sisters, by blood and marriage, and afterwards by his children and 
P-randchildren. Family festivals are deemed innocent things, quite suitable 
to the seriousness of a fast, and therefore people try to make them as 

splendid as possible. 

* In no country are so many diamonds and oihcr precious stones displayed as in 
Russia. Not only every Russian lady of rank has lier jewel casket, in which, besides 
those ready set, she has a quantity of loose diamonds and pearls, to l^e arranged ^. 
cordin? to fancy at different tunes and places, but even the httle girls have their 
caskets, contaming dozens of rings, earrings, bracelets, &c., with which they are con- 
stantly decorated. How necessary they esteem them I learnt from the example of a 
newly married couple, whose whole capital was GOOOmblcs ; of which 3000 were spent 
for jewels and ornaments, and the other three for beds, tables, and other furmture. 

M 



162 



PALM SUNDAY FAIR. 

Palm Sunday is another very agreeable interruption of the great fast. 
The children's festival, which 'in Germany occurs at Christmas, is in 
Russia celebrated on Palm Sunday. The scene of this pretty fair is 
under the arcades of the great " Gostinnoi Dvor," and in the adjoining 
streets. Huge bundles of twigs are brought into the city by the peasants, 
some very small, while others are great branches, almost as big as young 
trees, to suit the various amounts of piety ; for while the severe orthodox 
father buys a whole tree which he gets blessed in the church, and atter- 
wards suspends under the pictures of his saints, his elegant son contents 
himself with a dehcate httle twig, which he cracks like any ordinary whip. 
To these natural foundations are appended the palms which art has 
constructed to aid the poverty of a northern April. The bare twig is 
furnished with an abundance of leaves and flowers, some copied Irom 
nature, and some the production of a lively fancy. Some are made like 
the branches of fruit-trees, and hung with all the frmts of the east imitated 
in wax, with waxen birds and waxen angels fastened to the boughs with 

sky-blue ribbons. i r i.u 

A great number of natural flowers are also brought from the nume- 
rous hot-houses of St. Petersburg, centifoha, moss-roses, violets, hya- 
cinths, and orange flowers, for the elder sisters, who are not content to 
leave the fair with none but artificial flowers. As flowers alone would 
not be acceptable to children, sweetmeats and playthings are also to be 
had in abundance. The Russians have a pecuUar talent for making 
fiffures and toys out of the most worthless materials in the world; straw, 
shavings, ice, dough, they turn all to account. One old discharged soldier 
had made a model of a full-rigged frigate ; all sails were set, and it was 
so laree, that as he walked about with it on his head, it seemed as it the 
vessel were saUing away with him towed at the cable. Another seemed 
to prefer the more peaceful reminiscences of his childhood to those ot the 
service, and had formed a complete Russian fai-mhouse with all its appur- 
tenances out of wood and straw. In the farm-yard a man was at work 
upon a sledge, perhaps his old father ; an old woman was at the door 
with her pails, preparing to go to the spring, and among the cow-s m 
the cowhouse sat a young girl, evidently liis mother and sister. Ano- 
ther very favourite model is that of a church, with aU the cupolas, tunets, 
crosses and chains peculiar to the exterior of a Russian church. Churches 
occupy a large space in a Russian imagination ; and where we, with a 
pencU or piece of chalk in our hands, in an idle moment, would write 
initials, or draw a caricature, a Russian would be almost sure to draw a 
church. All Jerusalem is sometimes to be seen surrounded by its palm 
eroves, and the multitude entering the city with palm-branches in then- 
hands. The servants of a family make quantities of such things for the 
children ; and what the dextrous fingers of the lackey form out of paper, 
the cook fashions of sugar. The rich uncles and godfathers send the 
children palm-branches at this feast that are sometimes worth some hun- 
dreds of dollars. On such branches the angels are perhaps gold, the 
leaves silver, and the hollow waxen fruits filled with costly trifles. 

The stalls for the sale, or rather the exchange, of saints' pictures, image?, 
&c. ^c, for the Russian must not sell the picture of a saint, though he 



PALM SUNDAY FAIR. 



163 



may exchange it, which he does sometimes for money, are also provided 
with a multitude of amulets, crosses, &c., of all possible sizes, forms, and 
materials ; and if a person is not incHned to load himself with a heavier 
cross, he at least takes one of gingerbread, which he has the advantage of 
being able to eat when he is tired of carrying it. 

The dealers in plaster-of- Paris figures throng here m greater numbers 
than in then- Italian father-land. I saw one morning an odd rencontre 
between two servants, one with a basket full of paper shavings, out of 
which peeped the figure of Gothe, after Ranch, with his hands behind his 
back ; while the other had bought for his master a plaster Napoleon,— a 
very fashionable figure, by the by, among Russian officers, from the Cau- 
casus to Siberia. The latter held his Napoleon in his arms, and, as the 
lowest Russians are always full of compHments, he was making a profusion 
of bows, which Napoleon was forced to make with him. It looked exactly 
as if the ex-emperor were complimenting Gothe, who Hstened gravely to 
him buried up to his chin in cuttings of paper. i • i • j ^ x 

As thb is a regular national festival, the emperor holds it his duty to 
honour it with his presence, and brings all his sons and daughters with 
him. On a bright clear day, such as even a St. Petersburg April some- 
times affords, it must be confessed that a walk here among all these signi- 
ficant and insignificant people affords one of the most amusing spectacles 
of the season ; it is, as it were, the morn of the night of the great fast. 

On Verhnoi Subhota (Palm Saturday) a great procession takes place, 
in imitation of Christ's entry into Jerusalem, and all stream mto the 
churches, carrying branches and singing. The priests spmikle branch 
and branch-bearers with holy water, and add a blessing into the bargain ; 
the greater number then carry away their palms. Whole groups are to be 
met with carrymg them about till late in the evening, father,^ mother, and 
children, with the servants walking behind them ; even the infant^ in the 
nurse's arms has a palm-twig, sprinkled and blessed, thrust mto its tmy 
fist. As for the boys, the best use they can make of their twigs is to flog 
each other with them, which they do handsomely. Some of the more 
pious leave their branches till Sunday in the church, and many suspend 
them over their beds, ascribing all sorts of healing influences to the leafless 
twigs. The children also cherish theirs carefully, but for another purpose. 
It is the custom throughout Russia to punish those who sleep too late on 
Palm Sunday to attend early mass, by flogging them with the palm- 
branches. Giris and boys are all so eager to administer this disciphne, 
that they lie awake half the night thinyng of it ; and as soon as the day 
breaks, they arc running about in bands in search of the sleepers, whom 
they punish while singing this verse : — 

«* Verba blot ! 
Blot da floss ; 
Ya ne bin ; 
Verba blot !" 

(The roa smues— strikes to weeping— I strike thee not— the rod strikes.) 
This custom prevails throughout Russia, and the imperial children exer- 
cise the privilege as eageriy as those of lower rank. 



h2 



164 



THE EASTER EGGS. 

The Easter eggs play a very important part at this time of the year. 
St. Petersburg, lying in a plain little peopled either by man or barn-door 
fowls, must procure her eggs from a great distance. Moscow m parti- 
cular supplies large quantities. On a very moderate calculation, there 
cannot be less than ten millions used at Easter in tliis capital ; for, as it is 
always customary at Easter, on greeting an acquaintance, to press an egg 
into his hand, many an individual may consume his hundreds. 

Nothing is more amusing than to visit the markets and stalls where the 
painted eggs are sold. Some are painted in a variety of patterns ; some 
have verses inscribed on them, but the more usual inscnption is the general 
Easter greeting " Cliristohs vosskress" (Christ is risen), or " Eat and think 
of me '* &c. The wealthier do not, of course, content themselves with 
veritable eggs, dyed with Brazil wood, but profit by the custom, to show 
their taste and gallantry. Scarcely any material is to be named that is 
not made into Easter eggs. At the imperial glass-cutting manufactory 
we saw two halls filled with workmen employed on nothing else but in 
cutting flowers and figures on eggs of crystal. Part of them were for 
the emperor and empress to give away as presents to the courtiers. As 
the latter receive many of these things, they, of course, give them away 
affain to their friends and favourites, who, the next Easter, bestow them m 
their turn elsewhere ; so that these eggs often travel to amazing distances. 
I happened to know the history of one which came from the imperial 
palace, passed through numberiess hands of high and low, till its last 
possessor, having let it fall on a stone, pitched the fragments into the 

Black Sea. ^ . , .j. • ^e 

The wax-fruit makers and confectioners produce some pretty pieces ot 
workmanship, in elegant boxes filled with eggs of all sizes in regular order 
from the mighty ostrich-egg down to the nightingale's, and all m wax and 
suo-ar Some are bonbonnieres, and very costly presents are also ottered 
in%gg-shells ; some are transparent, and in plaee of the yolk, contain 
Ut\e%\ry bouquets, and some have a magnifying -glass neatly htted in, 
and display houses and trees formed in wax, pictures of samts, and tiny 
angels couched on roses. A considerable trade is carried on in such com- 
modities at Easter from St. Petersburg, which returns in imitative sugar, 
the raw produce of the hen-house received from the provinces. 



THE THREE LAST DAYS OF PASSION-WEEK. 



165 



Tlie streets of the towns and villages that are m general unhghted, are 
£1 tay with wandering illuminations as the taper-bearers go from one 
Iwf tVanotrr; and that the tapers may not be extinguished, which 
• ToLd uZ af^ ill omen, they are carried in paper lanterns. 

orroXFrrdav there is no fiither ceremonial than the erection of a 
kindof tlSS I the churches ; in general, a mere box l^id upon 

lights as are necessary ^^/^.^ ^j^^ ,^^^^^^^^ ^^^ out to kiss the simulated 
stand constantly open, and the people Sj> "^^^^ ?^ ^j ^ f^^^,g ^f ^o- 
wounds. The lower class of P^J^J^/f^^ ^nd devotion, and we 
stration, crossmg, and ^issmg with gi eat ttivour^ this to be all 

must suppose th^ most scand^^^ ^rk^nV i^-^^^^^^^^^^^ ^he ^ows 
mere acting. Many i am ceiidui a j r ^ ^ ^^^^^i 

about the whole Satuiday tiom «"<'/' , , jj f ceremonv 

of devotion with the san.e ^«lf-5°"n'laf "cy as they d^^^^ _^ 

at the l»l-^t-"l>-^"":, '":J!/;r„,-, ZS^LZ tZ: distanee, and 
^iU say to her '^""^^'^^/^.^XFrenh head, as she watches her 

has her own *°»S^t^ °/ .i"^^"„'^* ^' ^M great decorum and poUteness, 
patroness approach tlie tabeinacie, 'i'^^"'' S u of eenuflections 

Ldthe -f-^t'-rr^/J^^Sm^^^^^^^^^ ch-hes, 

and kissmgs. In this A^a\ ine u , . ,, skutsho" (It is very tire- 

till, getting wearied a^^er a tm^^^^^^^^^^^^ p'^lfaUfor the W^ 

some), and drives home ^^f /.^^f j ^^^^^^ i^ her house. For now, 

from every kitchen announce the commg joys of Easter-day. 



THE THREE LAST DAYS OF PASSION-WEEK. 

On Holy Thursday the occuiTcnces of the day are read out of the 
four EvangeUsts after mass. The priest stands in the middle of the church 
at a desk; on which burn three candles. The churches are m general 
thronged, and as eveiy member of the congregation holds a taper in the 
hand, they make an uncommonly cheerful appearance. The poor take a 
pride in having these tapers as thick as they can get them, and may otten 
be seen with beautifully gilded tapers which have cost them a couple of 
rubles each. They arc burnt throughout the Thursday evening, ex- 
tinguised on Good Friday, and kindled again at midnight on Easter-eve. 



CHAPTER XXn. 



EASTER-EVE. 






166 



EASTER-ETE. 



of divine service is consigned to repose. ' The devout are thoroughly 
exhausted with abundant kneeling and listening to the long readings * 
Many have had nothing whatever to cat for the three last days, and are 
really half-starved. The churches are as dark as the grave ; no priest 
shows himself on the Saturday evening till midnight. 

It is customary for one of the congregation to take on himself the office 
of reading from the gospel. A desk, on which lies an open Bible, is placed 
in the mrddle of the church ; one of the lower classes, who can just spell 
out Slavonian, will advance, light his taper, and read till some one else 
advances to release him. Except the beautiful church singing, no custom 
of the Russian church seemed to me so really touching and edifying as 
this public reading. ' . ,oot t 

As I was making the tour of the churches on Easter-eve in 1837, 1 
found in the church Spass Preobrayenskoi, a sc«arred veteran soldier, stand- 
ing at the desk reading ^vvath his taper in his hand. Around stood a 
number of children with folded hands, listening as attentively as the 
elders. In another it was a long-bearded, venerable, old man, who, in a 
trembling voice and feeble tone, but with great earnestness and devotion, 
read aloud the history of the sufferings of the Redeemer, to a crowd of 
old people, youths, and children of both sexes, whose attention was never 
once diverted by the constant flux and reflux of the worshippers of the 
eacred tabernacle. I found a like spectacle in every church I visited, and 
was never tired of contemplating the edifying and heart-moving spectacle. 
It is a pity that the clergy do not oftener let the scriptures out of their 
hands, and allow the congregation to take part in the administration of 
the sacred office. Religion would certainly be the gainer. All priests, 
without exception, contract, by dally repetition of the same things, a 
certain workmanlike dexterity and indifference in the execution of their 
duty, that deprives it of all influence on the heart. On the other hand, 
the emotion and sympathy of the unprofessional reader is visible and un- 
feigned, and the doctrine and teaching coming directly from the heart, 
appeal directly to it. Even when the reader is not a good or fluent one, 
the effect is not injurious, but rather the contrary. When he hesitates, 
approaches his taper nearer, the listeners seem yet more attentive, and 
when the right word comes, it makes the more certain impression. They 
seem to say'to themselves " Yes ; so it is. That is the right word : the 

It is strange that the reformers of our church did not make use ot so 
mighty a lever to piety as this congregational assistance might be, but 
left the people during divine service, in a state of inactivity that must 
tend to impair devotion. If, not always perhaps, but on certain occasions, 
one of- the congregation were at liberty to ascend the pulpit, the^ whole- 
some influence of family devotion would be imparted to public devotion, and 
a feeling of brotherhood would be infused into the congregation. 

Towards midnight the throng increases. In St. Petersburg the court 
appears in the imperial chapel in full dress ; and in the proy-inces the go- 
vernor, with all his adjutants and officers in their splendid uniforms, attend 



* There are no seats in any Russian place of worship, either public or private ; the 
whole service is listened to standuig or kneeling. In very rare cases an elderly lady 
of rank will have a chair in her private chapel. Even the emperor stands aU the tune 
of the service. 



EASTER-EVE. 



167 



^i, J ^1 TV.O t^MP^fs bee-in a mass which is but languidly per- 
the cathedral. The pnest^ bcgm a ^^ n^idnlghtf the whole 

formed or ^^^^f ^ */!' ^^^^^^^^ Ikonostas" (the middle door of the 

scene changes The^^^^^^^^ ^,^^, of the church) 

pictonal wall f^^^/^P^^^^^^ Chrlstohs vosskress ! Christohs voss- 

flies open, and t^f,,^^^^^^^^ ^n Clirist is risen from the dead !) At 
kressihs mortvui! (^^rnTna on of the church is completed, not only 
the same moment *;^V^~;^^^^^^ tapers in the hands of 

the lamps and g^^^ ,f^^£^^^^^^^ Srto unbghted. Whilst the 

the --^^^^/^^^^^^^^ vosskresV remove the pall 

chief body of pnests, ^^^l^""? '"^ ^^^i^^st dress pass through the 

before the ^'^""^ ^' 7^^ „ of devotees to bestow their b ess- 

?'''*'°"Vli^Stion s^ake^han'cls, and kiss alWith whom they have 

friend and " Vovat ~ J-J-^^^/ ;pt;tC M^^ that spoken 
swers the saluted. Ihis f '* '_f";^^„,„li' ^^^ to the empty tomb of 
two thousand years ago by the disciples hasten ng ^° y 

Christ, and brings befo^ ?- ^tl^ So Wed"" to L. The 
andexeitemen o he tot C^^^^^^^^^ They also embrace each 

:-uiuSteYtit£trU^^^^^^^ 

The rich wlio ha^e V"^^ ™f ".„_„,, „„a moreover they are sometimes 
necessary to can^ ^.e.r fo°.<i f ."^^^^ Jcrad^^^^^^^ Rood eook bestows, but 
quite content with the XTi^E/ster breS tiU it ha. been blessed hy 

"Thf :pS^:£:i<Sf ilTosS^^^^^^^ They range aU the 
dishe^iXfrows trough the whoj ^WU ea^g spa^^^^^^^^^ 
tween the rows for the pnests ^^f ^^^^-^^ Id e^ a^good ^-Y ^o^^' 

on Its — f ' ;'™P;d1r^H, all these painted, illuminated many- 
honey, plates ot Fef!"'^'^ '"J^, ' , coUected in such quantities, have 
coloured, ^t-nge-looking eau^^^^^^ 

rrrs "^etii^Zl ■: child's V/. oi^^cannot help looking 



EASTER-EVE. 



169 



168 



EASTER-EVE. 



into the faces of the reverend goodies and white-bearded fathers, to 
gee whether they are not masked children who will at last throw off their 
disguise, and in the midst of all their flowers and fruits, end with a dance 
in honour of Flora and Pomona. It is not necessary to observe them 
long, however, to be convinced that these good child-like people are quite 
serious in their proceedings. As the priest advances, sprinkling to the 
right and left, and pronouncing the blessing, while his attendant keeps 
up a constant chant, the people press closer and closer, crossing themselves 
and keeping a sharp watch that their flowers and food get their due 
share of the purifying waters. " Batiushka" is heard here and there, 
"sdes moi paslika." (Father dear, my Easter dish has got none.) 
Breathless with haste others come running up, and as they untie the 
cloth containing their dishes, supplicate a moment's delay from the priest, 
who is generally good natured enough to comply. 

The Russian Easter banquets are certainly the most peculiar things of 
the kind that can be seen, both from the time at A>hich they are taken, 
(the sun often lising on the dessert,) and from the appearance and de- 
meanour of the guests. Whole colleges and corporations come in gala 
dresses to pay their court ; after the unvarying salutations " Christohs 
vosskress," eat something ; and go away again. Thus the professors of a 
university pay their respects to the curator, the judges, secretaries, and 
other officers of the law courts, to their president, &c. All is bowing, 
congratulating, and kissing. The cooks and confectioners give them- 
selves a world of trouble to prepare their dishes with some reference to 
the time. Lambs made of butter are often paraded in the middle of the 
table, the fleece admirably imitated in butter also ; lambs of sugar, deco- 
rated with flags, crosses, &c. Many dishes appear in the form of an 
egg, which seems to be held almost as sacred. Some years ago, a court 
lady gave an Easter breakfast to the imperial family, at ^yhieh every dish 
at table was served up in eggs. The soups sent up their savoury steam 
from gigantic ostrich eggs, furnished, as well as the other eggs for holding 
hot food, by the porcelain manufactory. Here eggs produced cliickens 
full grown and ready roasted, and there a monstrous birth develojied a 
sucking-pig ; while pasties, puddhigs, creams, game, fruits, and jellies 
blushed through egg-shells of fine glass. Lastly, by way of dessert, 
eggs of gold paper were offered, containing almonds, raisins, and sweet- 
meats of all sorts. 

To be thoroughly national, two dishes are indispensable at an Easter 
breakfast, paskha and kulitsh. Paskha is made of curds beaten hard, 
and served in a pyramidal form ; the kulitsh is a thick round cylindrically 
shaped white loaf, sometimes made with a multitude of little kulitshi 
sticking upon it, like young oysters on the back of an old one, with plums, 
consecrated palm-twigs, &c., which latter always project a little from the 
crust. Both must be decorated with flowers and wax-lights; and if, in 
addition to these, a hard egg and a dram be swallowed, the conmion Easter 
breakfast of a Russian of the lower class has been taken, and you may go 
to sleep for some hours with a good conscience wherewith to begin the 
enjoyment of the Easter festivities. 

Of these, beyond all dispute the most interesting (where a pair of pretty 
lips are concerned), is the Easter kiss. I will endeavour to give some idea 
of the enormous consumption of this saccharine article at this time of year. 

In the first place, all members of a family, without exception, kiss each 



other • if the family consist only often mdividuals, there are at once ninety 
kisses! Then all acquaintance meeting for the first time at Easter, even 
where the acquaintance is but slight, would thmk it a breach of poh eness 
not to kiss and embrace each other with the greatest cordiality. The 
devil take you, Maxim,'' I once heard an old woman exclaim to a young 
man " can t vou say * Christohs vosskress,' and give me a kiss ." 

If we suppose now that every person in St. Petersbm-g has, upon a very 
moderate average, a hundred acquaintances more or less intimate, that 
Calculation will |ive for St. Petersburg alone, with its half milhon inha- 
bitants, a sum total of fifty miUion Easter embraces. Let us consider only 
on how large a scale many individuals must carry on the business. In the 
army every general of a corps of 60,000 men must embrace aU the officers, 
every colonel, those of his regiment, and a select number of soldiers into 
the bargain. The captain salutes all the soldiers of his company, ^vho are 
mLS for the purpose. The same in the civil depai^ment ; the clnef 
embraces all his subordinates, who wait on him m their gala dresses Con- 
sidering how numerous are the divisions and subdivisions m a Russian 
bureauf the chief must have no little occasion for lip-salve on the foUowing 
day for as far as I observed, these official caresses are by no means niere 
matters of pretence, as they are sometimes on the stage, but real dmvnright 
Tmll, suc'h as might be Lhanged by lovei.. A subordi^te o^^^^^^^^^ 
enough to do, who has often a dozen grades above him; but as to the poor 
Znftaries, tliey must be fairly out of breath. Herein, of course as m aU 
other cases, the largest share of business falls to the emperor s lot. Let 
u conskler Ins nunferous Aunily, his enormous retinue, t - comitless nu^^^^ 
bers who come to salute him on Easter morning, those of the nobleyU om 
he is more intimate with and may meet by accident ; and even then lie 
iias not done. On parade the whole body of officers and some of the 
privates picked out for the occasion, are honoured with an ^n^P^^ial em- 
brace which is not refused even to the meanest sentmel of his palax^e as he 

'TS^^S:^^^ and received with the greatest chcerfg. 
ness and amidst smiles and handshakings, as if they saw each other for 
the first time after a long separation, or after some heavy and long-endured 
misfortune, it may be eltsHy imagined how many gay and a— g ~ 
are passing in the streets and houses. " Christohs vosskress, Yefim Stepka- 
ri"^(Clnist is risen, EuphcmStei^W^ 

to another. - Voyst venno vosskress r Is he ^^Uy risen ) Then they 
seize each other's hand, embrace heartily, and fimsh mth [P^dyom 
v^kahakhrar (Let us go to the public-house, brother) ; and to thepubhc- 
house they go, where the brandy runs as freely as the clear water m 
Mahomet's paradise. It is an exaggeration, however to assert, as some 
travellers have done, that, under the shield ^//^ ^^"^*^,^^. ^^^^^^^^^^^ 
stranger is at liberty to salute any unknown fair one. It is true that even 
in the higher circles some elderly gentlemen wiU take advantage ot the 
season, and give occasion for some badinage among the young laxhes, 
though it is never taken amiss. I once saw in a pro>^ncial town ^ Russia 
the sentinel at the gate, after he had exammed the basket or cart of the 
peasant girls, salute every one in a very grave and busmess-hke manner, 
and he assured me that lie did so throughout the week. Ihe coachman 
and other male servants kiss the children of their masters without cere- 
mony, but only the hands of the grown-up daughters ; the domesUcs on 



170 



EASTER-EVK 



EASTER-EVE. 



Ill 



these occasions fill their pockets with painted eggs, one of wliich is pre- 
sented to every one they salute, or from whom a trifling douceur may be 
expected in return. 

That all scenes at Easter are not quite so cheerful or so peaceable may 
be well imagined, when we consider how freely the eau de vie (it might 
more properly be named cau de mort) flows during this period. To be 
intoxicated at Easter finds excuse every where, and it is carried so far, in 
Little Russia particularly, that whole villages are often drunk at once. Of 
course, much scandal is caused thereby. Servants run away, or are sent 
away, on account of excesses committed at Easter. The German families 
complain sadly ; many are left at this time altogether without domestic 
assistance, as there is no bridhng a Russian at Easter ; and yet, with all 
this universal uproariousness, there is certainly less crime committed than 
there would be any where else. A Russian Easter in England or Italy 
would be a regular period of bloodshed ; but, owing to the natural good 
temper and peaceableness of the Russian national character, there is here 
far more to excite laughter or repulsion than fear or indignation. 

In the capital of the Ukraine, I was once passing the gate through 
which a crowd of persons of both sexes were staggering, and all as drunk 
as they could well be. As I stood still to look at them, and shook my head, 
one of the hindmost, in the same condition as the rest, approached me, 
and taking off his hat, " Drunk, sir— all drunk !" said he ; " it is a hoK- 
day; forgive them, sir— pray forgive them ; pray, sir, don't be angry — 
forgive us ! God has given us a holiday." There was no getting lid of 
him till I gave him my hand, and promised to for^ve what I as a foreigner 
could have no right to punish. Another time I saw, in another city, a 
drunken man take off his hat to the governor in the public square, fall on 
his knees, and, seizing the dignitary's hand, exclaim, " Ah, I'm drunk, 
your excellency ; it is a holiday, but I beg you will have me beaten ; I 
have drunk too much, indeed ; pray, your excellency, do punish me ! 
Nor could the governor get rid of his singular petitioner till he had given 

him a reprimand. 

But enough of these grosser matters ; turn we rather to the count- 
less throng of brUliant equipages that fill the streets, all driving, hurrying, 
flying to court, to kissing, to church, and to the Katsheli. Yes, the 
Katsheli, for in Easter-week it returns again with all its whirhng, twirhng, 
swinging, and nut-cracking. The ice-mountains and sledges are no 
more, but in their stead come oranges and ices ! 

In fact, to judge from the immense quantity of oranges that are to be 
seen heaped upon the stalls at Easter, one would think that the garden of 
the Hesperides lay directly before the gates of St. Petersbiu-g, or that they 
grew throughout Russia like birch and pine trees. Whence they all come 
to be sold at so reasonable a rate, I know as little as I do how all the 
Champagne is procured that is drunk in Russia as freely as if that pro- 
vince had been long a part of the Russian empire. It is a certain fact, 
however, that in Russia, to the very frontiers of Siberia, all the places 
where the fairs are held at Easter, seem inundated with oranges and 

lemons. , - 

The south is provided for by Odessa and Taganrog, but north and cen- 
tral Russia through the northern ports. The golden cargoes are generally 
landed at Libau or Reval at the latter end of February or m March, and 
are transported from St. Petersburg as far south as Kharkoff, where the 



^ 



itinerant dealers proclaim the pyramids of orang^ and lemon, piled up on 
their h-d, as the genuuje pro W ^t-Jf-^" Lough at the foreign 

o'rthrir breasts and shoulders «!<« f "^^^^r A^t; • and '£ 
serve to wipe their glasses '" -'"'^^ ^Jf/ -f ^^ PetersW, Moseow, 
equipped, they may be mot ^;'A =^^ faster m St^Fetmb^g, 

^kfuitltrSrS^h •;. SHa:Sbout thelr^eU. 
::temouth-c'ooling merchandise -der f ^^o^^.^^ ^,^jj.,„^^„^ „^ 
The business which we are employed m, ^ttects, it is ^^ , 

.-hole being and character in '^ ^^ /nTdlion u oTeftheroLaL 
The same men whom I saw so taciturn and monoionous* vj 

aXt days, are now "e in^^^^^^^^^^ l^S^uS 



blossom, coffee blossom. W ho will taKe my muat ,i Ah' vou 

Ty good old father, red, red as a;-,,-dj.lW as g^^^ 
simpleton, give your copper fo^ mv gold^ Here he l^ut^ ^.6^ ^^ 

and holds it up to the sun). "Ah ! how ^"Pe^»- „^ ; Come, father, 
eat it myself! But I am not nch enough. I^^^^^ .^ ^^^^^^ 



EASTER-EVE. 



173 



172 



EASTER-EVE. 



turns up his eyes, and raises his shoulders as if it were pure ambrosia. 
« Ha ! ffood mother, what are you gaping at ? Does it make your mouth 
water. Truly, I cannot bear to see vou there melting in the sun betore 
my eves. There, try it." And he holds out his wooden spoon with a 
sample. The old woman laughs, must taste, and cannot get off under 
eight kopeks. And then the tempter begins his strain agam, winch is 
scarcely ended when the sun has already ended his course for the day. 

Durinff the whole of the Easter-week the churches stand constantly 
open, and even the golden doors of the sanctuary, which remam closed 
throughout the year, excepting at certain moments during divine service, 
now ^it the gaze of all. The more pious, generally, licar a long mass 
every morning before they hasten to their amusements. The holidays are 
closed by a " Hnal mass," at the end of winch " the division of bread takes 
place, a ceremony whose meaning I have not been able to fi^^ out. 1 be- 
Ueve it may be only a viaticum or souvenir of Easter, which the priest 
bestows upon the faithfid. Large loaves are baked the outer crust of 
which is coloured red, and stamped with the words, " Clu-istohs vosskress 
ihs mortvui," in gold letters. These loaves are cut into smaU pieces ; the 
priests fill some baskets with them, carry them to the raihng round the 
altar, and throw down the bits of bread among the people, who stretch out 
their hands with eageniess. The pieces are anxiously exannned to see 
who has ffot the letters. Those who obtain the characters formmg the 
first word of the inscription hold it for a particular piece of good fortune; 
but the holders of the last word " mortvui" (death), on the other hand, are 
much grieved, and esteem it a very bad omen. This is natural enough. 
I must confess that I was glad when I caught some of the letters forming 
the " vosskress," and should have been Inconsolable if " mortvui had fallen 
to my share. These pieces of bread, hke tJie palm branches, are laid up 
among other relics on the table or shelf where the image of a saint rests. 

With this ceremony, as before said, the Easter hoUdays, properly speak- 
ing end Every thing, however, has a conclusion, then an end, and then 
a real and complete cessation. So there comes halting behind the Russian 
Easter yet another holiday which may be said finally to close the doors 
of these festivals. It is the Monday after Easter, called by the Russians 
" Pominatelnui ponyedelnik'^ (Recollection Monday). When I heard this 
name for the first time, I asked a Russian the meaning of it, to which he 
rephed '' Because people then remember their parents. Ihis Monday is 
nearly our All Soul's day, and is no doubt brought m connexion with 
Easter, partly because it follows so immediately, and partly because the 
resurrection of Christ has a natural connection with the hoped-for resurrec- 
tion of those dear to us. To say the truth. Recollection Monday is a kind 
of monster of a hohday, for in the manner of its celebration re igious gra- 
vity is so much revolted, and yet the feeling and fancy flattered by so 
much that is kindly, that we know not well whether we should condemn 
it for its indecorum, or cherish it for its childUke simplicity. 

In the morning the people flock to the cemeteries, and after attending 
service in the chapels belonging to them, in memory of and honour to their 
departed friends, take a meal over their graves ! 

At a very early hour the nover-wearied holiday folks may be seen setting 
forth with bag and baggage on foot and in vehicles The food is earned 
in the first place into the chapels, and laid upon the table in the middle. 
There is generaUy a large round loaf in the midst of a dish ; and round 



i-rM 



about it the red-painted Easter eggs, salt, gingerbread, ^"gp!'^"^ ^^"T"^; 
Ixi the midst of the loaf a lighted taper .s always stuck, without winch a 
RuSno more than a Gheber, can obser^-e a rehgious solemmty, the 
dear flickering flame being to him always a symbo of the spiritual 

A FlciXh pencil mlght>o<l"e« the strangest picture m the world by a 
faiAful "epresentation of this oddly furnished banquet, particularly as the 
Sstc of T pur cors varies consi'derably. Every one has Ins loaf of a 
different f3rom the rest ; one has ^ddod a dish of rice and p urns 
-.notW a pot of honey, and a third some other dish according to his 
means On every loa a little book is laid. In one 1 found written on 
r. mtre "This book belongs to Anna Timofeyeffna " (Anna limotheus 
dauffi. aid on the next ^page, "This ^oo'' '' '''''f'' Zf^'^XZ 
of my dear father, Fedor Paulovitsh, and my go^^ n^°*«^' ^l'^?^^^ 
T> ; -fl- , •' On , tbird na<re stood the names of Gregor Sergei and 
Erf WcVtut b^^^^^ ?:minatelnui knigi," or Books of Remem- 

^■^ Afte'r the usual mass, the priests approach the strangely-loaded tables 
and sing prayers for the dead, swinging the censers all the ?n'l«- -^^^y 
turn ovcJ till leaves of the before-mentioned books, and 'nt^oduc^ *e 
names there found in the prayer. When tWs general prayer and conse- 
Tiln ; nvpr the people disperse about the churchyard ; each party 
:r they ::s'oflrf£ds, Wticulany of those la^%;o^ and -«p 
over them. The greater number mourn m silence; ^"V^°™«',''*'.°'f f°'^T 
"s yet new, cast^ themselves in despair upon the earth, and £ve it vent 
aloud On one such occasion I noticed particularly one old woman 
Si voice of lamentation resounded over the f »'! l-^J^g-CtanS 
went up to her and asked for whom she mourne J. f ^^^JJ^^^o^ 
answered for a young marned daughter. [««! she threw ne 
again with her face to the grass, and cried into */ gj?;;;^ ^^.^ ^^ ? 
,.m.ld hear • " Ah, my dearest daughter, why hast thou torsaKen me . 
It thirioVelii ! thL young onll why M't *ou ^ % o^^^^^^^^^ 
wUl, bPi- ^eventv vears ? Couldst thou not wait till she had gone oeioie 
eP Ihm^ia'ihter. - it not against nature that t^^^hild should 
tZ her mother un'tended ? And thy httle son thy Fedor, he too is 
!ft Alas alas mv daughter, son and mother are left alone ! 

I canmft exp;eTsVow deep y the lamentation of this poor old woman 
afi-ecirm , a^she chanted her^ sorrow in a kind of church melodv ; now 
and then ;easing entirely, and burying her gray care-worn head m the 

^hus she mourned till the priests came to her grave. They in the 
melntime parXd the churchyid with burning tapers and erueifixes, and 
perfomed a special service over every grave where it was desired, the 
^'btrof remembrance" being handed to them for the. purpose^ The 
priests were followed by troops of unfortunate persons, c"PP/"f^^^ 
SL who expected to receive part of the food in alms. I sa>y several 
Ih^seTadcstad been so abundantly stcred with eggs, that they ""ghthave 
leZ trade v^th them. Some ot^ the mou^ei. gave the whole of what 
thlHiad brought, and made thus a worthy offenng to the departed. My 
Soldiomfntas among the nuniber ; I helped her to d-f some of 
Fbp loaves a task her trembling hands refused to perform. 1 he maiority, 
1 amTo^ to say? spread their napkms over the graves, an-anged their 
},^Tuprthem7not^forgetting theNvine and brandy-bottles, and set to 



174 



EASTER-EVE. 



THE GARDENS AND VILLAS. 



176 



work with as good an appetite as if the day ha^ been preceded by seven 
years' of Egyptian famine instead of a Russian Easter These ghastiy 
banqueting-tables and the revelling groups around them formed the 
strangest !pecta«le I ever saw in my life ! The pnests, of course, came 
in for a sh^^e, and tasted something at every grave. I approached one 
company, consisting of some official persons, among whom there was one 
decorated with a couple of orders. These people had covered a long grave 
with a large table-cloth, and had loaded it abundantly from a store m 
their carriage, which was drawn up close by, and out of which they were 
continually fetching fresh supplies ! Two priests were aniong the revellei^, 
and were challenged more frequently than any others of the party. JNot 
before night were the dead left in peace in their last resting-place, and 
many, unfortunately very many, left it in a condition which may be said 
to have turned the day of remembrance into one of complete forgetfulness 
The ffi-eat excesses committed at this season are particularly misplaced 
when the digestive system has been so much lowered in tone, and cause 
much sicknest among the lower class of Russians ; so that, for many, then: 
holidays are attended by very evil consequences. The hospitals are never 
so full as after Easter ; and, according to the statement of a physician to 
me, statistical writers, in giving the bUls of mortahty for the several 
mouths, might safely quote the Easter hoUdays as m some measure ac- 
counting for the great number of deaths in April. 



CHAPTER XXnt 

THE GARDENS AND VILLAS. 

The sixtieth degree of northern latitude crosses the suburbs of St. Pe- 
tersburg. Since the creation of the world no other city has displayed so 
much splendour and luxury, so near the eternal ices of the Pole, as tins 
imperial residence ; and tfie neighbourhood of the Baltic Sea is perhaps 
the only one where such an attempt in such a parallel could have suc- 

"* The" parallel under which St. Petersburg has built palaces and ^Iti- 
yated gardens is the same under which in Siberia the Ostiaks and Tun- 
gusians find a scanty nourishment of moss for their remdeer, and where 
the Kamtschadale drives his dogs over nevcr-melting ice.* In the same 
circle where St. Petersburg enjoys every luxury of the civilized and un- 
civilized world, the Greenlander and Esquimaux, with their seal fat and 
train oil, barely keep alive the feeble gUmmer of vegetation rather than 
life. Swampy Livonia, which even the Poles call harsh and raw, the 
province whence come the wild and pitiless snow- storms, caUed by the 

* The irrcater part of the Tungusians live ftirther south. Okhotsk lies one degree, 
Tobilk twTand the southern poiiit of Kanitschaka nearly nine degrees further 
fouth than St. PctcrBburg. 



Prussians Courland weather, are to the St. Petersburgers very agreeable 
S^rflbly warm southern provinces. In Poland the Russian begins to 
kok about him for tropical vegetation; and of the nebulosa Germama 
whose frigora and grey skies inspire the shuddering Italian to stnke the 
£ac Ss of his^ai, the Petersburger thinks as of a land "where 

^'yo^X^Eu^^^^^^^^ in such close relation to the beasts of the wil- 
de^ess L St. PetLburg. Even at Stockholm a tolerable numbeo 
miles intervene between the city and the den of the wolf ; at bt. mere 
burg thelurWng-places of tlie gaunt animals, and the palaces of the 
S^s are withl/a neighbourly'^distance. It is a remarkable proof of 
?he wTl'dne^s of the environs of St. Petersburg, that between breakfast and 
dinnlr a man may go on a wolf or bear-hunt, as he may on a hare- 
hunt from Berlin. ^ In hard winters hungry wolves have approached the 
XLbraiil even the neighbourhood of the imperial P^-^^; -p^Je J 
food The imperial couriers despatched between the Winter Palace antt 
the neighbo Jng residences hJe, even of late years, fallen «>ore than 
once a prey to these animals : and there are in St. Petersburg many lad es 
Xse rg^nt Parbian toilette has been exposed to dangerous p^«mi^ 
with the shagg>' lords of the forest. I was told by one lady that she naa 
rnagarden^'sfared awolf with her parasol; -* V ?"f ^^^^T„ „f her 
been surprised by a bear while reading on a bench in the ga^^*^ « «^^ 
villa cl^e to St. Petersburg, and how she had thrown a romance of George 
W at Ws head! The Russians maintain that the bear is a great 
coid and ilTnever attack unless wounded or otherwise imtated. They 

Xe many^dd effects of sudden fright upon W-"', ^t'^'S^.^rw I 
^iv mTrthe attention of the naturalist, can scarcely be related here. A 
boTrs nee ^e^t from a countiy-house to fetch bread; he came back 

wiLut it, and said that he had met a bear on '^^y^^'/iX^;^;'^^ 
r »*!,;» hond On returning to the place indicated the bieaa was 

of the forest have still the advantage of Ceres and Flora m the cmurons oi 

'"..^irSen's sake send me a picture of the -"C.-id a fnend to -^ 
as I was setting off for the south (..Germany ^, the ^tWp^trortr 

one must have exchanged the pale grey of he S*;^f^™§.7GeRnan 

hei^^hl'cnhr rTeirS ItSrtl"^^^^^ t^Ci^st. our 
trbiid'rtS of poetical emotion -f -s ^ eyes wjen^^^^^^^^^^^^ 
of the land of the citron and the myrtle. Even thus is the tendern 
a St. Petersburger awakened for countnes where cheixy and f-^J^' 



170 



THE GARDENS AND VILLAS. 



THE ISLANDS. 



177 



floorluff. What in Vienna and Paris is a firm rocky footing is m 
St. Petersburg a bottomless morass. The swampy nature of the so.l 
oozes throngh the pavement and woodwork in spring and autumn -and 
although mUlions in millions are lavished year y for paving the street 
and mending the roads, bridges and canals for dram.ng foundations ami 
Z like, ye? the site of the city is so little solid and secure, that behind 
every garin-wall the soil is still a wild, marshy, uneven swamp, as when 
the Titans of yore beheld it. In oi.r towns, at least i.i the suburbs, every 
house sUnds in the midst of trees, vines, and shrubs, and bloom and perfume 
srace everv neglected comer ; but at St. Petersburg every garden stands m 
the midst of a morass ; and where the spade has not been at work, the ugly 
bog still stares you in the face. With us (I mean at Vienna, Dresden 
HLbur<-, Frankfort, indeed about almost all German cities) Nature 
herself half forms a garden : there are hills, v.-dleys, flowery meadows, a 
variety of trees, or at least a firm soil to tread on, and an endurable canopy 
of sky ; and to make a garden, we have often nothmg to do but to ay oirt 
the walks. At St. Petersburg there is not one of these things ! The 
firm gromid must be made by art; the gravel walks must be founded by 
the hand of the carpenter. If meadows are wanted, the turf must be laid 
down sod by sod ; if hills, the earth must be thrown up ; if a valley, it 
must be dug. Those who desire warmth must heat their stoves ; those 
who wish for a sky must paint one in their drawing-rooms. 

It is only between four walls we can enjoy calm weather or any ot the 
beauties of Nature in St. Petersburg : bright colours are to be seen only on 
walls. The pastures and meadows are dirty, gray, and yellow ; no fnendly 
green presents itself any where but on the roofs of the houses. The 
^v is misty and wateiy ; the stars gUtter from the blue cupolas of he 
chLches, but none twiiikle any where else. The paler the sun's face, the 
mrres^lendent are the summits of the towers ; the fainter the moonligH 
the brighter shine the gorgeous palaces. Heayens ! what cost, what tod 
and trouble had Peter the Great spared the St. Petersburgers, past, pre- 
sent, and to come, had he foUowed np his first idea of building his new 
capi al on the shores of the Black Sea ! So many foreign ambassadors 
3d not then wonder at the rapidity with winch they grow old-mid 
there would be prettier giris. St. Petersburg would have acacias, laurels, 
and pZegranaJes, instead of birches, firs, and cranberrtes ; and so man^ 
milUons would not pass half their lives in considering how they and their 

families are to be kept warm. ,„■„,, i „„ ♦!,„„ 

The only thing that was of use to the St. Petersburgers when they 
set about the embellishment and planting of their environs, was the beau- 
tiful clear, deep Neva, with its many branches, to «li>,* "«^y ^f ^™ 
the ffroup of lulls, called the Duderhoff mountains, and the coast of the 
gulf of Finland. AU those who seek the rural landscape have taken 
refuge either iu the islands, on those hills, or along that coast. 

THE ISLANDS. 

In the whole Delta of the Neva there are more than forty islands, 
ereat and small. Some of these islands, although all belong to the pre- 
cincts of the city, are stUl perfectly desert, inundated by the sea and the 
Keva, visited only by seals or by wolves, who come over the jce. 



Such are the Volny islands, the Trukhtanoff islands and some others. 
They are swampy and overgrown with birch, and scarcely known by- 
name in St. Petersburg ; others contain magazines for powder and other 
stores The largest are the often-named Vassih Ostroff, the St. Pe- 
tlXg idand and the islands formed by the Mojka, Fontanka, and 
Mi canals. These are almost entirely oc-P-^ by the houses of *e 
city, and form the centre of this island-metropolis. North-wes of the bt^ 
Petersburg island Ue five others of moderate size, separated by the 
Lms of the greater and lesser Nevka^ and the Neva-these ^e Me 
islands, emphatically so caUed the "Garden Islands of St. Pete« 
burg, krestovsky (tie Cross I^land)-Kammenox Ostroff (the ^^ 
land Petrofskol Ostroff (Peter's Island), Yelaginsko. Ostroff (Yelagin 
iXnd) a^d the ApothecW Inland-* OriginaUy these islands y^Ued 
nothing but shrubs, some few old oaks, the senior veterans of St. Petere 
burg, Ld particu arly birches and firs, with which the greater part of 
Setlands a^e still cohered. These primeval woods -J P jeval -amp 
were invaded by the art of gardenmg towards the ^l" ^^'^^/'^ ^a 
tury. Man cleared them in some measure, made g-^ «Vmb l^Uel of 
new trees, such as could be made to grow under the 60th V^^lfJ^ 
latitude left Standing the old oaks under which the Ingnans had sacn 
fi^^ aid al " hei^ and there a little Finnish fishing-village, which, m 
S tiTsJotr„c'r::ing luxury display^, - t'>^7t/<l"3""wr; 
the contrast of times, and the extremes of social life Bridges were 
throvm from bland to island, canals made, and above all "mpeml plea 
su^e mlaceTand pretty villas {Datshas) were buUt on the banks of the nver 
tL ^eat^r part of these gardens have been planted under Alexander and 
NiSaTto whom almost efery Russian town is indebted for. ts V^^^l^' 
den They were begun under Catherine, and hence perhaps the name 
nrtsha f% for villi for she made many grants of ground and even of 
w£ islSTo her favourites, that they might ^uild and lay^ut^l^ 
and houses there. The Yelarin Island was first g'f^ *° ^ ,^"^0! 
then to a Yelarin ; it now belongs to the Empress Alexandra *^o 
*vna Each of the islands has its particular destmation and is devot^ to 
a par icuW class. Yebgin belongs almost exclusively to the court ; 1^ « 

AtZ .tis Tot to be c mpSiith k gardens and chateau at 
Potldim -kammenoi Ostroff is the chief island for the viUas of the 
wS"; cWs The houses are built on the banks of tj>e nver aU m 
different styles, one is Gothic, another I*f '^"' ^ ^^i^'f^^^^^l^t^' '^ 

SorJi irrLXfa^%m: liS."' Aftig^lfy W Xnaij 
coslomous sums fn the erection, and display much luxurv, vve should 
kok hiThifor the architectural grandeur of the Itahan yiU<^. the com. 
fort of English country houses, or the simple enjoyment of a Gennaa 
g^den. t^r one chariJi these Datshaa are indebted to the seventy of the 

•« «f PptPrshurff " We will go to the islands this summer," 
« wH:^S lJ;:L7pan/'o^t.rSds, 'They mefn these five Garden I.l.-aids. and 
no others out of the whole torty. 



178 



THE ISLANDS. 



THE ISLANDS. 



179 



* . 



!li 



climate, namely, for the great abundance of flowers. The hot-hous^ are pM- 
fS supplied, and in the warm weather, the balconi.^, doors, and wm^ow. 
of the Datehas are adorned with multitudes of exotic plants,^ the peasant e 
houses in mi parts of Germany are with May-flowers at Wh.tsm,t.de. 

foestoXfoHhe Cross Isla/d, lies before the courtly Yelagm and Kaxn- 
men^i Ostro& towards the sea, and is larger than the two former put to- 
gether Numerous avenues have been opened through the thick pnme- 
fa IWr^h and pinewood of this island, and afl-ord agreeable views of the 
Gulf of Finland. This island is pecuharlv the resort of the lower 
Sis of St. Petersburg ; hither flock the liushik and the Kupez m gay 
Sol^, to enjoy, in the woods, their national amusements of swings 
f^SRussian mointains, and here on holidays smokes on the grass under 
every pine-group the favourite samovar, round which may be seen en- 
camped a party of long-beards, gossiping, singing, and clamouring. 

X GeLan part of the population have appropriated to the>nselve 
another island ; it is on Petrofl'sky that the German prefers to take his 
cup of coffee and indulge himself w-ith his pipe. The an^ngements here 
Zona smaller scale ; tnd here only are to be found mdk and cake gar- 
Tns coffee-houses and taverns, as in the neighbourhood ol our towns, 
irmust not be understood, however, that there is any thing exclusive 
here and datshas, chateaux, and Russians mingle here as elsewhere. 

As a thorough St. Petersburger, firmlv of opinion that "o city in the 
world is to be compared withhis own, cherishes a prejudice against all that is 
not St Petersburg*, so does he most particularly pnze these magic islands, 
and is not a littrastonlshed, when a foreigner, U> whom he displays their 
tnlendour is not equally enchanted. The St. Petersburgers can by no 
£fundeMan1ho\ Jy one should >>-itate to place the island gardei.^ 
the side of those of Babylon, Damascus, or Shiraz, or to count St. Peterebu^ 
Is a fifth paradise. PasLgtheirwholeliveslnacont^^^^^^^^ 
kies, or coaches-and-four ; having never sat buned in thought, or absorbed 
by a book in the stiU fragrance of a honeysuckle arbour; having, in short 
Ssul pleasant corners%hemselves, they cannot at aU unde^ and w^^^^ 
German finds wanting in their gardens when he says, "Yes, it is very hne, 

but not half so plea^^ant as in Sur country." ^^f^^^J^^^^^'^^^::^ 
nlies what art leaves wanting to the decoration of the garden, and every 
t bTeltizen and peasant Lips to make the picture ^^ --Pf , -:^ 
luxuriant. In St. Petersburg, what the government and the mhlea^e 
undone, remains incomplete •, no generally-diffused spirit of gardemng u 
at hand and the wind whistles shriUy through every opening. 

N "ve'rtheless, and in spite of us sighing foreigners ttie islands have their 
favourab e side'; the quLion is only, te ch«.se we 1 the time and ~- 
to view them. Before all things let no one think of going on foot as if he 
werTgoingTothe Thiergarten of Berlin, or the Prater of Vienna. It should 
Wmembered that in St. Petersburg droshkies are always reckoned upon, 
^arauThe Sirdens and buUdings are scattered over an extensive surface, 
Ind that the^ tableaux on a larje scale are best -nthe fester you^ve 
bv them Take then, if possible, a carnage with four horses, dash through 
Se deflate quarter of St. Petersburg Ostroff with^he speed of the ^nd, 
and nZ the train of briUiant equipages that throng the avenues of 
Yda^n and Ustovsky on hoUdays and Sundays at the same rate ; call 
ITf^Meni, if you have one, in any of these elegant swamp-v.lla^, and 
ei^-Tv th™ or evening collation upbn his luxmious divans^ and m the 
S 5 Ttl^e costly decoration of 'his reception-rooms. Then towards 



sunset have a gondola, manned by half-a-dozen sturdy feUows, and row 
down the arm of the Neva to the Gulf of Finland. Watch there the globe 
of the northern summer-smi sink into the lap of Thetis, and hurry back 
through the magic July night, and row round some of the islands, taking 
a wide sweep, for there'is plenty of room here on the water also pmichmg 
and driving your gondoliers, meanwhile, to make them go the faster. 
Sen henVom th^e water to the sounds from the thick ^rest, 8^- on^l^^e 
lights from the fishing-villages the late lUumina ion of the bnl hant 
Datshas, and barken te the nightly doings on tl>e '^'""df' ''''e'^f. ^l''^ 
loud by night as it was by day ; and at last, return homelike a night-wan- 
dering S^t, when, towaris one o'clock, the cold dew announces the 

return of the sun. , , i i • u„;«.v.<- 

In the way home admire on the Prospekt the palaces gleaming bright 
in the nightly reflex of the smi, and when, on the foUowmg morning, m 
drawmg you/bed curtains at eleven, you recal the singular dream of the 
nast nilht you will understand why the islands are so highly esteemed. 
^ 1 StPete«burg friend may tate you to breakfast at Talon's, or to a 
promenade on the EngUsh quay, but if he be prudent he will content him- 
Z\M that, and not propJise a walk te the St. Petersburg villages. -The 
^ages that surround Lc^ii^ are the prettiest that can be conceived; 
Z Hambm'g villages on the Elbe, those on the Maine by Frankfort, even 
the tum3antef hamleU of our Sandy Jerusalem, are charming fidl 
^rSr beauty, and abounding in subjects for the sketch-book of 
theorist S "villages" so much talked of in St. Petersburg ar« 
five rntmbe? Great fnd Little Okhta, Bolshaya Derevnya, Malaya 
D™" d Tshomaya Retshka. They he in long endless (eve^r 
fhtnJin St Petersburg is without end) lines on the Neva, the two fct- 
ied opp;sfte the 5er, and the two latter opposite the lower part of the 
d'rT^e'houses of tSL villages are of fir-tree logs -»g% P^^^^f^^^ 
and planted in regular rows like a regiment of soldiers. From the houses, 
WdCone of which has the ornament even of a tree, the long cabbage and 
—bTpkn ations stretch inte the country on the land side, and a road 
XnT theWks of the river is Uned on hoUdays with carnages dnvmg 
up and down as they do in the avenues on the Garden Island . 

Those persons whose revenues are too moderate for a Gothic or Chinese 
Datsha engage a summer residence in some of these dea houses, and 
Tufoy therc^us^much niral happiness as tea-drinking, card-playm^^^^^^^ 
driving can afford them. One cannot but admire the modesty of their 

'Xtl^ayf S^ya is the new establishment of Stnive for mine^ 
waters, a magnificent Luse, with elegant saloons, -d FTf:!^^^ 
cover. It stands in the midst of a bare swamp, nearhr four (Engl^h) miles 
from the centre of the town. In summer this is a l^avom^te resort of the 
foshionable world of the islands ; an unprejudiced person finds it difficult 
"comprehend why so useful an establishment was ^-^fd m -f^'aS^ 
Those Uo drive out and back again every day to enjoy this >"oek Carlsbad 
might have gone to the real one for the same expense of time and money. 
Ve gardfns of Stroganoff and Besborodko-the fonner p open to the 
publfc-havealsomade considerable inroads into the terntor^s of the^dm- 
nities of swamp and mud. Altogether the possessions of St Petersburg 
in garden land may be reckoned at 25 millions of square yards 

five villages of Great and Little Okhta are remarkable as the site of St 

N 2 



180 



THE ISLANDS. 



Petersburg's predecessor, the old Swedish fortress of Nyenschanz, at a Stdl 
earlier period called Landscrona, or, in Russian, Venetz SemU (the crown 
of the land). For the possession of this little fortress and trading town, 
the Swedes' and Russians (not the Muscovites, but the republicans of 
Novgorod), disputed as early as the thirteenth century. It was generally 
held by Sweden, and through its mediation a peaceful commercial inter- 
course was sometimes kept up between the two countries. The last traces 
of this fortress have now vanished and are forgotten.* 



THE SEA-COAST. 

Peter the Great— every chapter that treats of Russia must begin 
with Peter the Great, for not only St. Petersburg, but every twig and 
branch of Russian pubUc or social life, the history of cities, roads, 
canals, public institutions, the annals of gardens, buildings, manufactories, 
mmes, and mills, all begin with Peter the Great. Peter the Great then 
did what no ruler ever did before him, he built his capital on hostile 
ground. Perhaps he thought like the officer, who, to animate his soldiers 
to the charge, threw his own standard into the midst of the enemy : let 
our dearest treasure be in the hands of an enemy, and we shjdl fight the 
more zealously to make it ours again. Often, while the building of the 
city was going on, he had to exchange the chisel and mallet for the sword, ^ 
and drive back the enemy from the very gates of his infant capital. On 
one of these suburb battle-fields, he built in the year 1711, without the 
city and close to the sea, the castle and garden of Cathermenhoff, as a 
memorial of a victory obtained over the Swedes. At first it was only the 
summer residence of his consort Catherine, and of the grand-duchesses 
Anne and Elizabeth. Their wooden palace stands yet, but the gardens 
are ereatly extended. For a long time these and the " Summer Garden 
were the only pleasure resorts of the kind for the citizens, and still, pro- 
bably from habit, these gardens are visited on the first of May. On that 
day aU St. Petersburg is in motion ; the poor on foot, the young exquisites 
on horseback, the ladies in their carriages, all flock to Cathennenhoff to 
hail the coming of the fine season, even though it be held expedient, as it 
generally is, to go well wrapped up in bearskins. , , ., 

The gardens are full of bowling-greens and restaurants, and while 
smoking a cigar before one of these restaurants we may enjoy the pleasure 
of seeing half the magnificoes of the empire move slowly past m their 
carriages-and-four ; the senators, the star-covered generals, the reverend 
bishops and metropoUtans, the bearded merchants, and the "foreign 
euests ;" a spectacle of which, often as it is repeated, a St. -Peters- 
Wer is never weary. The carriages move after a certam prescribed 
plan the whole day long, like horses in a mill. It is enough to make 
one giddy to think that all the gay world throughout Russia are mov- 
ing about their many thousand towns, at the same pace on the same 
day The emperor, whose presence crowTis the festival, is generally on 
horseback, with the princes and a brUliant staff*. The St. Petersburgers, who 
are accustomed to keep all holidays in com mon with their adored emperor 

* In the old papers of a merchant of E^val, I read Gorman commercJal letters 
dated from Nyenschanz on the Neva; and I ^^^ \^ ^\y^\^P^'^^ ^J^^^^^'!" 
clotlies-press that came from Nyenschanz-the only antiquitica> perhaps, that bt. 

Petersburg possesses. 



THE SEA-COAST. 



181 



and his court, c annot at all relish ours, where this luminary is wanting, in 

i7he"were £ ep^^^^^^^^^ the spring, and when he has passed by, 

The tiong d^^^^^^ after the other, and go home again, as if the sun 

these milestones were pyramids. But so '' ^ «^J« ^ le 

brooks, nor smiUng vUlages wherewith to distinguish places, an p v 
can findthekwayonly by reckoning the mdestones. 

X:ghrd"iiia%^;r:;fc3d^ 

Ae'yXw coMr of the castle is always -uewedL^^ td dese-es 
builLgs, its axchiteeture l^^e^r ins^ific^t m character a^ ^^^^^ 
as little to be mentioned ">* Vej^adles and Ae "^^^f/ ^^ ^^ 

which ^yJ-^^iratlS : "AS^Saste View is from the 
compared with hi. reter s ai- ^""*'^; . ° . merchantmen, it is 

loft/coast over the se^eov«edwi^^^^^^^^^ and me^^ ^^^^ ^^^^^ 

strange enough that t^^"^^'" ^re the garden descends in temw;es, 
wards. Downwards to the seashore, t"« B . j^ Neptunes, storks, 

^ irSt^'^s in Husvield's l-fJ^iS'^^Z'^Z'- 
Jt pass the oaks and hi„^-s p^ted 1^ P^^^^^^^^^^ ^^ „„,^^ 

r^eV^'a: V?;; ^^h^C-d»^^^^ romind^he beholder, ^ maay 
SusTKcTty las done, of the -odest dome;^-r^°^^^^^ °^*^ 

of 368 S toe? They ^^ ^ portraits, executed by a certain Count 
of 368 pictures. X y r .^ ^^^ ^^^^^ of a journey 



182 



THE SEA-COAST. 



an idea of the wealth of her great empire in physiognomies and beauty. 
They are all beautiful yoimg girls, whom the coimt has painted in pic- 
turesque situations, and in their national costume. One cannot but admire 
the inventive genius of the count in giving a different position and different 
expression to all these 368 faces. One pretty girl is knitting diligently, 
another embroidering ; one peeps archly from behind a curtain, another 
gazes expectingly from a window ; another leans over a chair, as if listening 
to a lover ; a third, reclining on cushions, seems lost in thought. One 
elumbers so softly and so sweetly that a man must be a Laplander in apathy 
not to wish for a kiss ; this stands before a glass, combing her beautiful 
hair, that has buried herself up to the ears in fur, leaving visible only a 
pair of tender rosy lips, and soft blue eyes gleaming from under the wild 
bear's skin. There are also some excellent portraits of old people — two in 
particular — an old man with a staff, and an old woman by the fire. This 
collection is unique in its kind, and would be invaluable for the physiog- 
nomist, if he could be certain that these portraits were as exact and faithful 
as they are pleasing and tasteful. But this is doubtful, for they all bear, 
undeniably, rather the stamp of the French school than of the Russian, 
Tartar, Finnish, or any other nationality within the Russian empire. It 
is also a suspicious circumstance, that they were done by a gentleman for a 
lady. Probably behind every graceful attitude some flattering homage to 
the empress lies concealed. The other apartments do not contain any 
thing very remarkable. In one are the little table and benches with which 
the Emperors Alexander and Nicholas played as children; in another, 
some carving and turner's work of Peter the Great. In one room we were 
shown the blots of ink, made by this emperor or that, while engaged in his 
boyish studies ; and in another we saw on the ceiling an extraordinary 
picture, representing a whole corps of angels playing from notes ! every 
one with his music lying on a cloud by way of desk ! — while a fifth room 
contained all the gods of Greece, also reclining on clouds. The old 
Russian who acted as our guide remarked, evidently with no small pride 
at his superior enlightenment, that the old Greeks were very stupid and 
superstitious, to believe that the gods lay about on clouds in this way, as 
it was very well known notv, that the thing was an impossibility. 

To be seen to advantage, Peterhof should be visited early m July, when 
the court gives the brilliant and renowned ffites, to which, once for all, 
the whole 500,000 inhabitants of St. Petersburg are invited. All the rest 
of the year it looks as if no one were at home ; but during those three 
days all is life and splendour, revelry and display. The sums paid for 
lodging are incredible. There are some people whom it costs 20,000 
rubles daily for lodging alone. This sounds extravagant, but it is literally 
true. The expense is incurred thus : — For a person of rank it would not 
do to lodge with any of the village proprietors ; he must have a house of 
his own. A piece of ground is purchased, therefore, for 20,000 or 30,000 
rubles ; a datsha erected at a nominal charge of 80,000 to 1 50,000, but 
in the end, when the house is finished, it comes nearer to 200,000 or 
300,000. The interest of this money, at 6 per cent., would be from 
15,000 to 18,000 rubles. The maintenance and wages for the overseers, 
stewards, and others, are enormous ; they may amount yearly to about 40,000 
rubles. When we further calculate that tne whole wooden palace cannot 
last more than forty or fifty years, or will be sold again in much fewer for 
a mere nothing, and that it is only inhabited for three days in the year, it 



THE SEA-COAST. 



183 



will be admitted that the calculation is not an extravagant one. The 
Russian nobles do not reckon thus, but they would be frightened if any 
one, with the help of the four rules, were to demonstrate to them how dearly 
this three days' amusement costs them. 

THE DUDERHOF HILLS. 

The chief summer residence of the Russian emperor among the Duder- 
hoSms K^^ Gori) is Zarskoye Selo. Like the majority of a^l 

that Tbeautiful ov useful in Russia, it owes its origin to Peter the Great^ 
SfbuilUhe first house here, and planted, eternal praise and honoin- to 
the illustrious gardener that he did so, the avenues of plane-trees with 
£ own W But it was Elizabeth who built the large and magmficen 
ie wWch was further embeUished by Catherine ; and after the great 
Te the destiny of every Russian palace, and of every Russian tow^, 
t wa^restored by Alexander. The^nterior offers treasures and magnifi- 
clre eTou?t7procure a Sheherazade, another truce of a housand 
Xhts to describe chambers of amber and mother of pearl ; column of 
Seagate and porph^ Chinese, P-ian -d Turkiji h^s^ colo^^ 
Ues marble baths, mosaic pavements, malachite ^^^^ ' J^^al krch^^^^ 
whole Chinese villages, Dutch and Swiss cow-houses, triumphal arcr e , 
Tos? al pillaS!^ broize statues, which Catherine erected to her favourite , 
rrXander to his "dear companions in arms," intermmgled with 

""Stanlens of Zarskoye Selo are certainly the -ostjreMy^^^^^^^^^^ 
the world ; the trees and flowers are watched and inspected with thB mo»t 
•T.Tm nnteness An old invalid soldier commands his 500 or 600 men 
L'^l^rS o;e^^^^^^ After everv faUing leaf runs a veteran to pick 
?^u^ and after a violent north wind tLy have enough to do, as may be 
iTima^ined Every tiny leaf that falls in pond or canal, is carefully 
Serourtey dus7and trim and polish the trees and paths m the 
gfrdlras the/do the looking-glassesV furniture of the sa^^^^^^^^ 
ftone that is kicked aside is laid strait agam, and f^^^^^^f ^^^^^^ 

t^'Zo^n^^ the closest contemplation of t^^^^^ 

T?[rS; S^lJyM^^ then the sacrifice keeps the gardens m 
above 100,000 ™ J^^ ^'^^ ^^^^ ^he Russian nation requires a 

the order of a baU-room. iney say xi v , certainly requires 

I A..^r« flvino- awav in storm and tempest. Ine garaeus oi ^ 
rti T. le s^mScent but more attractive than those of Zars- 
r sl The^f but a few versts from the latter, and also among 
koye Selo A hey lie out a p^^io^sk, the summer residence 

5\KtL'tpresItor Maria, is more simple. According to 



Sj^mstiammm 



184 



THE DUDERHOF HILLS. 



Swinm, the walks in these gardens have a length of 150 versts ; and 
there is so much variety in the disposition of them, and in the shrubs 
and grouping of the trees, that Russian Hterature may boast of several 
books written on this subject alone. 

Of late Pavlovsk and Zarskoye Selo are much more frequented, in conse- 
quence of the railroad that connects them with the city, and they have now 
become the favourite resort for citizens of the middle classes, who flock 
hither in such numbers in summer to dine, drink champagne and punch, 
and so forth (not to sip a cup of coffee and carry off a remainder of sugar, 
as with us), that they alone would keep the line in full activity. The 
town of Pavlovsk consists almost entirely of small wooden houses, which 
are hired in the summer as country residences. The German colonists in 
the environs do their best to increase these pleasures by providing fresh 
milk, good bread, clean rooms, and other things which are generally looked 
for in vain in the Finnish and Kussian villages. 



CHAPTER XXIV. 



CRONSTADT. 



EsTHONiA and Finland combine to form the Gulf of Finland, one of 
the three huge arms that the Baltic stretches into the northern lands. 
The entrance to the Gulf lies between Revel and Abo. In the middle it 
expands into a wide lake, then, narrowing more and more, ends in the 
small bay of Cronstadt, which is, in fact, only the expanded mouth of the 
Neva, or rather the basin through which the waters of the Delta reach the 
open sea. The bay is shallow, its average depth scarcely reaching twelve 
feet, and affording a sharply-defined and narrow channel for vessels that 
do not draw more than eignt or nine feet water. There, where the sea 
properly begins, marking the limits of the bay, and enclosing it almost to a 
lake, the coast of the Kettle Island rises above the level of the sea. This 
island exchanged its former Finnish name of Retusari, or Rat Island, for 
its present, when the armed delegates of Peter the Great, in the year 1703, 
drove off the Swedes. The latter, in retreating, left nothing behind them 
but a great camp-kettle, which the Russian conquerors reared in triumph 
on a pole as a trophy of victory, and immediately baptized the island 
after it. 

Peter soon became aware that Kotlinoi Ostroff must be the key and out- 
work for the defence of his new capital, and he began himself to fortify it. 
The mouths of the Neva are many, and a multitude of ramparts were ne- 
cessary to put all in a state of defence. The islands at these mouths are 
extraordinarily low and swampy, and decline so gradually into the sea, that 
the erection of fortifications would have cost enormous sums. The Kettle 
Island lies in the midst of the water directly before the bay of Cronstadt, 
nearly semi-distant from the northern Carelian as from the southern 
Ingrian coast. Thus, there remain but two arms of the sea to guard 



CRONSTADT. 



185 



against the entrance of a hostile fleet. The navigation of the northern is 
bf nature difficult, on account of the sandbanks: the sinking of ves^ 
fiUed with stones made it altogether inaccessible The southern arm, 
although neariy seven versts broad, has an exceedmgly narrow channel 
£e tftheTs .^^^ This arm had therefore to be invested with defences 
as with I coat of mail. For this purpose the coasts of t^e -land^^^;^^^ 
of Ingria, if not particularly good, were at least much niore so J^^ th^^^^^ 
flat marffin^; of the Neva islands, and a number of rocks and islets ottered 
KmsZ" as natural bases for forts and citadels. Peter th^^^^^^^^^^ 
the fort of Kronshlott on the southern side, and began one ^^ the ™ 
itself SuccecdiuL^ governments completed these; and Paul L, m pro- 
Sg the ro:k o^ ifiesbank with for^fications, under whose ^^^^^^^^^^^ 
vessel must pass to enter the bay, seems to have perfected the defences ct 

^Trl'stdt may be considered as the water-gate of St. Pet-b^^^^^^^ 
is the chief station of the Baltic fleet, here the chief c^^tom-house and 
here ai sh ps coming from the sea anchor. The smaller ves^f -^^^^^^ 
tbrmouths of the Neva ; the larger stop here to discharge a part ot their 
fargrbeSe gig te^^^^^^ or thfy discharge it altogether mto the maga- 
zLes of Cronftadt^hat belong to the St. Petersburg ^^f^^^^' , ^ 

A multitude of small vessels and ^t^^l^'^oa ^' ^'^^^^,^^^'^ ^v^iS^^ 
ho^ maintain a communication with the capital. When a favourable 
W brings up at once whole fleets of a hundred or more largejess^k 
from l^e sfa, or when the Russian war-fleet is preparing for a cruise, there 
are a. many steam-boats and sailing-boats, cuttevs, schooners b^^^^^^ gon 
dolas, and^oats, fetching and canning ^"telhgenee merch^^^^^^^ 
passengers, as there are droshkies, britshkas, ^J^^.^^^^^lf/^, J^^^^^^ 
^ Tbp bav of Cronstadt is as lifeless a desert m \nnter, that is nearly six 
entire month, a^^i^^^^^^^^^ in summer. The whole -rface is frozen 

* Tf'K.St n£> h„ . length of ««p, ..a . .!■"•'* IX'SiS 

T^lV.„lc;T,n.Kossa on which a lighthouse is erected. Its greatest uie^tu 

SjlorrsoUUcrs, mcrchiiits.-Kussian, Germau, mi EngUsb. 



186 



CRONSTADT. 



sides into some deep creeks, it would have spared the Russian government 
an enormous outlay of money and labour. The harbours, docks, and bas- 
tions of Cronstadt have cost within the last century millions and millions 
of rubles, and thousands of human lives. Had Neptune but touched the 
island with his earth-shaking trident, or Vulcan driven his fires through 
its clefts, the greater part of tliis human toll would have been unnecessary. 

The harbour for vessels of war will contain about thirty-five large ships. A 
strong mole, 450 fathoms long, protects it from the violence of the waves. 
Near this lies " the middle haven," destined for the fitting out of ships- 
of-war. In the dock-yards of St. Petersburg, only the hulls of vessels are 
built; they are then with infinite labour transported on " camels"* over 
the shallow bay of Cronstadt to this "middle haven," to be finished and 
fully equipped. The haven is surrounded by powder-magazines, and by 
immense quantities of anchors, cordage, tar, and other naval stores from 
the arsenal of Sestrabeck. 

Further to the west lies the merchant's harbour, capable of receiving a 
thousand vessels, and therefore the most interesting and animated of the 
three. To the nortli-west it is protected by a bastion of granite-blocks. 
A promenade on this bastion is the most agreeable in Cronstadt. Hence 
may be obtained the best view of the life and bustle in the three harbours. 
Opposite are the improving fortifications of Kronshlott, and from the ex- 
tremity, the prospect of the wide sea, with the vessels ever appearing and 
disappearing in the horizon. 

The waters of the bay are fresh, except when a storm blows from the 
west, and makes them slightly salt. This freshness of the water is said 
to be the cause of the rapid decay of the ships, but the shocks they re- 
ceive from the ice may have more to do with this than the want of salt. 
From the middle and the merchant's harbour two great canals run into the 
interior of the city. The quays on these canals, as well as those of the 
harbours, are of granite, and in a style of magnificence such as is hardly 
to be seen in any other commercial city, f 

The canal running from the middle harbour, which was begun by Peter 
the Great and finished by Elizabeth, brings up the ships of war to the 
dock for repair. It can admit ten large vessels at once. The whole basin, 
which is formed of granite, can, by means of a steam-engine, be laid dry 
in two days, and filled a^ain within six hours. 

The fortifications, harbours, canals, and dock, are the proper objects 
of admiration in Cronstadt. Except these, all is of an ordinary character ; 
neither the churches nor the houses have any thing remarkable in them, 
the latter are for the most part but one story high. Besides the Russian 
Greek churches, there are an English, a German Lutheran, and a Catholic 
church. A Noble club, a Gostinnoi dvor, barracks, hospitals, cadet 



* These camels are gigantic chests, big enough to hold a ship of the line. When 
the hull is built, and is ready to be sent down the Neva, such a cliest is brought into 
the Admiralty dock-yard and filled with water till it sinks so deeply as to admit the 
vessel to float in through an aperture in the side. This done, the water is pumped 
out again, when the " camel" begins to rise, till at last it is enabled to float down the 
river with its singular passenger. It is then towed by a steam- vessel to Cronstadt, 
and generally without accident, if wind and weather are favourable. Wliy so incon- 
venient a dock-yard has not long ago been abandoned, it is difficult to conceive. 

t They were erected by tlie Emperor Nicholas, who liaa done more for Cronstadt 
than any former sovereign. 



CRONSTADT. 



187 



1, ^1. A.O The town is divided into two parts, the division of the 
C— t:;t a?d tSTof Ae Ad„.iralty ; in tl latter there is a — « 
g^X! which boasts of some flowers, said to haTe been planted by Peter 

* rSad* is the chief station of the Russian fleet. The fleet (Uke aU 

which the Dutchman had repaired and equipped, ihe water in ine i a 
Utt Lays highland in su~^^^ 

SrXl^nTitnS^Ss^St^e S.lf leaned to.t Jfe^sejs to 

Swas the admiral of the fleet. *« f ^^ £*' ^ tr" 
amounted to about a dozen ^«''««°- . f jJ^woTlll ^, scarcely 
other Russian sailors, and for cannon, they «*«, *^° 'T'l ^,^„„di 
large enough to be heard on the other side of the wood hat sur^ 
the^ lake. "^But the jjay in t.me became earnest In Jb94^i-e 
decided on his plan ; he would have a Russian fleet, and ue r 

"TllrstS fie' ^f Ke;:irsli:l l%r ted to the g.at 1 Je 
of'5u*\r"entieswere?ound and^^^^^^^^^ 

= t tnr ^lS: t^i^Xhr^^i infant manne of 
Ru st, was carried in triumph into Moscow, and lodg^ ^1 t«^e R.«- 

• ^^°^Som the^S^f'i;^^*SetT^^^^ Baltic, 

sjan, and fr°™*XscarefX Nurtured in the interior of the empire, 
the manne P'*"^ *''"'. "^7', 'L developed itself with extraordmary ra- 
and transported from lake to l»f ' /'^"P^" . .^ ^ gg^. After the first 
pidity, and spread over the whole r^^^°f *XT^^s kept in action 
J,rize\ad been taken from Sweden, the R™ J^^Xedes and Rus- 

llmost ^f^^^y^y^^lr^Ji^i'^Lt^tr.seUes legitimate 
sians in the gulf ot Umlana, wnere , powerful 

masters, are as old as * ^^^^^ /t£ Mstormlers of Ihe Baltic, 
on the sea, and at Merent P^""^^/;, f ""L ts fo7c=nturies. On Peter's 

the Sw^es ~-J "-Xf r' tt;ran?a:;rie, of naval battles 
appearance on the sea, tne leai w* 't>-, •, and by decrees driven 

have at last secured *« Baltic prorinces to Ru^'- ofpilnf The first 
the Swedes from every 'jay and corner of the ^"^ J ^ ^y^^ g^^dish 

important fight took pla.e l-^^\^^l^i:~\essel after another 
army at Pultava. From 1^3'5;*^'?7^en ships of the line of sixty 
to se'a, gun-boats, g'^U^y^^fr'g^*^';:"!, I ndSd by the Czar himself 
euns and more. By a boW manoeuvie, ^ ;,thmuses of Anput and 
L parsed his small galleys and cutters "J^^^^^jSeX attacked it un- 
RaLburg, which f r "ami^Iwr* Von Snsdiild, and hb ship, 
expectedly, captured the '^'"•^'^i™"^ ."^"led to the island of Aland, 

. In at leas^^ii^^^^towns they show some such sacred flo^. said to have 
been planted by iW with his own hands. 



188 



THE RUSSIAN NAVY. 



An^t made the Russian fleet of age in less than twenty years after its 
birth, and Peter sailed back in triumph to his new capital, to be promoted 
to the rank of vice-admiral, and to address the following speech to the 
surrounding nobles : 

" My brethren, who among you would have held it possible, thirty years 
ago, that you should navigate the Baltic with a Russian fleet, and that 
from Russian families such naval heroes and navigators should spring as 
we now see before us ? Could we then hope that so many able men, 
distinguished in science, would have hastened from all parts of Europe to 
assist the advance of our country in science ? Did we divine that we 
should inspire foreign nations witn so much respect, that such abundance 
of renown so soon awaited us ? We learn from history that Greece was 
once the asyliun of science and art, and that driven thence, they wan- 
dered to other parts of Europe. The neghgence and indiHerence of our 
forefathers alone are to blame, that the muses did not traverse Poland to 
reach us. The Poles and Germans once groped in the same darkness of 
ignorance in wliich we so recently pined. By the care of their rulers 
their eyes were opened, and they received a portion of the inheritance of 
Greece, her civilisation and her arts. The wanderings of human civiliza- 
tion may be compared to the circulation of the blood. I hope that the 
muses, when they have forsaken Germany, France, and England, may still 
dwell with us. Look on this new city rising fresh and blooming on the 
soil conquered by our arms ; on the cupolas of these churches, that have 
arisen under your own eyes ; on these schools and academies ; behold the 
thronging masts and sails of our victorious fleet ; and you will acknow- 
ledge, that it is now our turn. Support me in my undertakings, unite 
the strictest obedience to the most energetic industry, and we shall soon 
behold our Russia taking the rank that is her due among the civilized 
powers of Europe." 

After the victory that gave occasion to this speech, the fleet remained 
inactive under the reign of Peter the Great, and under Catherine the First 
it retreated timidly into the harbours of Reval and Cronstadt, when 
blockaded by the English, irritated by Russia's alliance w4th Spain and 
Austria. This is the only time that the English and Russian fleets have 
been opposed to each other, and they did not come to battle then, as a 
peace was soon afterwards concluded. In the seven years' war, the Rus- 
sian fleet afforded active and able support to their army which had 
advanced on Prussia, by blockading the ports, cutting off all assistance by 
sea, and assisting the land-forces to land on different parts of the coast. 
Under Peter the Third, troops were to have been landed in Holstein, 
which this prince designed to conquer, but his sudden death prevented the 
sailing of the ships. A new impiilse was given by Catherine the Second 
to naval improvement ; the fleet in the Black Sea was formed, Europe 
was circumnavigated, and Russian ships were seen for the first time in 
the Levant, to protect Russian interests there. The ships which sailed 
from Cronstadt, and were exposed to the criticism and ridicule of England 
in 1769, were heavily built, and mannwl by inexperienced sailors ; never- 
theless they accompUshed the voyage round Europe, after encountering 
many dangers and adventures, the result of want of skill ; and, ill as they 
may have appeared in comparison with English vessels, they had, no 
doubt, a considerable advantage over the Tmks, for in the following 
year the battle in the Bay of Tshesme took place, which obtained for the 



THE RUSSIAN NAVY. 



189 



Orloffs the family name of Tshesmenski, and a triumphal arch in Zars- 
koye Selo ; for the soldiers and sailors who fought there, a medal with the 
words " Buil" (I was there) ; and for Russia the command of the Black 
Sea, and the free navigation of the Dardanelles. 

After Catherine had acquired the Crimea, Asoph, and the mouths of 
the Dnieper, a great deal of pine timber was brought from Volhynia. 
Dutch and Enghsh admirals, German and Greek seamen, were engaged ; 
still the Russian fleet was so little available, that the English, to whose 
assistance against the French, Catherine had sent her ships, begged her to 
take them back again, as affoi-ding more embarrassment than help. How- 
ever useless the EngUsh found them on that occasion, the Russian ships 
did good service towards the end of the last century ; in 1809, before the 
peace of Fredericksham, and also at the battle of Navarino, and in the 
years 1828 and 1829. The Swedes were eventually driven out of the Gulf 
of Finland, and the Turks from the Black Sea. 

No sovereign since Peter the Great has done so much for the Russian 
navy as Nicholas. At Navarino the English were no longer so discon- 
tented with Russian ships, if we may believe that the testimony of Captam 
Crawford was not a mere matter of coiui:esy, in acknowledgment of the hos- 
pitable reception given him by the Russian fleet, or that he was not in- 
fluenced by party feeUng, to throw the blame of negligence upon the then 
EngUsh mmistry. " I cannot refrain from expressing my astonishment, 
said Captain Crawford, " at the extraordinary advance made by the Rus- 
sian navy at a time when that of England has been at least stationary. It 
was truly admirable to see the attention paid by the Russian officers to ail 
that passed on board our ships, and the promptitude with which they ap- 
plied their newly-acquu-ed knowledge. There is among the Russian naval 
officers and sailors, an admirable espHt de corps, an emulation, a desu-e 
to do their best, an enthusiasm for theu- national fleet, and its prospenty. 
I could not, as an Enghsh naval officer, help feeUng somewhat strange at 
the thought that there should be at Cronstadt twenty-six Russian slnps of 
the hue, with 30,000 men on board, and victualled for four months, wMe, 
for the protection of our coasts and harbours, our merchantmen in the Bal- 
tic, the North Sea, and the Channel, there were only seven ships of the hne, 
and even those not fully manned." , . - 

The whole naval force of Russia consists of 350 ships of war, carrying 
nearly 6000 cannon, and manned by 50,000 men— sailors, soldiers, and 
eunners. Among these, 40 are ships of the line, from 60 to 120 guns ; 
35 frigates ; 120 gun-boats, of which last the greater part have been orga- 
nized for the protection of the coast of Finland. 

On all the seas which the Russians have reached they have launched 
ships • on the Baltic, on the Black Sea, the White Sea, the Caspian, and 
the Sea of Okhotsk: in the three latter, on account of their remoteness, 
and the little importance of their relations, the fleets are of course small, 
consisting onlr of a few frigates and brigs. The two chief fleets are sta- 
tioned in the Baltic and the Black Sea, the latter increasing more and more 
with the increasing importance of the affairs of lurkey. I^ early 2000 
cannon float on the Black Sea in twelve Hne-of-battle ships, eignt frigates, 
and some smaller vessels. Among these ships is the largest m the Russian 
navy— the Warsaw, caiTying 120 guns. r .t. r r *v 

The Baltic fleet is still the most important ; 28 ships of the hne form the 
nucleus, to which is attached a suitable number of frigates, corvettes, &c. lu 



190 



THE RUSSIAN NAVY 



THE RUSSIAN NAVT, 



191 



tlie number of ships and guns carried by them, this fleet has long been the 
most effective on the Baltic, and, indeed, doubles that of any other power 
there, both in number and equipment. The German powers, whose pos- 
sessions border on the Baltic, — Prussia, Mecklenburg, and Holstein, — have 
no fleet there.* 

The Swedish fleet consists of 100 vessels of war; of which, ten are line-of- 
battle ships, and 13 frigates, with a fleet of about 300 sloops and gun-boats. 
The fleet of tlie guardians of the Sound, the Danes, that people of the is- 
lan'd and tlie ship, consists at present of 30 large vessels, — among which are 
6 line-of-battle ships, and 6 frigates, — and 70 gun-boats. If we estimate the 
naval force on the Baltic by ships of the line, there are 26 Russian, and 
only 16 not Russian. The Russian ships have now a coast line of 300 
German miles to defend. Before Alexander's time they had only 170 
miles, before Catherine's 120 miles, in the time of Peter the Great not 
more than 100, and previous to that, i. e., 150 years ago, they did not 
possess a single foot of coast. The English have contributed largely to- 
wards this increase of Russian naval power in the North as well as in the 
South. The destruction of the Danish fleet at Copenhagen by the Eng- 
lish was an occurrence at which the Russians might rejoice as reasonably as 
at the battle of Navarino. 

The Russian fleet, formed entirely after English and Dutch models, 
has nothing nationally characteristic. The technical terms are conse- 
quently Dutch or English, as those of the army are German. To lands- 
men, every thing on board Russian vessels appears perfect and in the best 
order ; even to those who saw them as Crawford did, there appears much 
that merits praise, but the learned in these matters find a great deal to 
find fault with, and many considerations induce them to undervalue the 
Russian navy, and think more lightly of its power. In the first place, 
the Russians are no sailors, but rather, as the English express it, regular 
land-lubbers. In this respect they are directly opposed to the English, 
Danes, Dutch, Greeks and other maritime powers, who prefer the sea 
service to any other. Of all the nations inhabiting modem Russia, hardly 
one is acquainted with, or accustomed to, the sea. The actual Russians, 
those in the heart of the country, have nothing to do with the sea, the 
dwellers on the coast are every where colonists and strangers. Even of 
the maritime population, few are familiar with the ocean. The Lettes in 
Courland and Livonia ever held the " yure" (sea) in great dread ; the 
Tartars of the south have always been shepherds, obtaining their foreign 
produce from foreign maritime nations, and the Cossacks never issued, 
except at intervals, from the interior of the country, to make predatory 
^ excursions on the sea. The only exceptions are the Finns and Esthonians, 
who are esteemed good sailors ; their long coast line, numerous lakes, and 
archipelagoes, affording much practice. Hence the Finlanders are very 
numerous in the Russian navy. 

With the scarcity of native seamen, the Russians were compelled to 
apply to foreigners for sailors, as the French, who were bad horsemen, 



* Wliy, it would be difficult to say. Prussia has timber for ship-building in abun- 
dance, has a merchant navy which may stand in need of protection, and a line of 
coast on the Baltic, relatively of mucli greater importance than that of Russia; and 
yet Prussia does not maintain there a single ship of war. In time of war she must 
allow herself quietly to be cut off from the sea, while Russia had a naval force as soon 
as she poisessed a foot of laud on the seashore. 



were obliged to have recourse to the Germans to mount their cavaky. 
Russia has always sought to aUure foreigners into her fleet ; at first, 
Venetians, Dutch, and Germans, at a late period Enghsh, and in the 
Bouthern seas, Greeks. But these foreigners naturally rose to be heads 
and leaders, as they always do when serving with Russians ; it was found 
impossible to keep them at the helm or the mast, where they were yet 
more necessary than in the higher posts. The wretched pay of the 
Russian mariner, which is not much higher than the soldier s, the severe 
discipline to which he is subjected, the contempt of foreigners for the 
lower class of Russians, and their consequent unwilhngness to serve with 
them on equal terms, are circumstances which render a minghng ot 
foreign and Russian sailors ahnost impossible. As the Russians did not 
become sailors through the natural effect of circumstances, or by their own 
will, but at the command of a master, there was nothing to be done but 
to select candidates for the sea, as they did for the land semce, from the 
shepherds and husbandmen of the interior. Of the 30,000 sailors now 
eervinff in the Russian fleet, at least 24,000 have grown up at the plough 
and spade, and but 2000 or 3000 at the utmost have served any kind ot 
apprenticeship on the Black Sea, or in the fishing trade on the northern 
and White seas, and on the great rivers of the country. 

Apart from the incompetent service of a Russian ship-of-war, which is 
a necessary consequence of the circumstances just mentioned, the entire 
want of a merchant navy is most unfavourable for the fleet. A commercial 
marine is the corps de reserve for the war service ; its national guard or 
yeomanry. England, Denmark, North America, and almost all maritime 
nations, have had an important trading marine, which could not only sup- 
ply them with experienced seamen, but also with ships-of-war, by tur- 
iiishing them with guns and issuing letters of marque. The naval com- 
merce of Russia is almost entirely passive. If al the Russian vessels m 
aU the Russian harbours were reckoned together, they would certainly tail 
far short of a thousand. In war, therefore, Russia could only reckon on the 
ships built expressly for the purpose; and while the amiy is suirounded 
even to superfluity With the very effective Cossacks and other light troops, 
the sea Cossacks, the privateers, are altogether wantmg. From aU these 
circumstances, it is clearly incorrect to oppose the mere numbers of tne 
Russian ships of the line and frigates to those of other nations when 
then- relative strength is in question. In this respect, Russia stands in the 
same relation to Denmark, France, and Spam, as these powers do to 
England, and England again to North America, which m a naval war 
would be formidable to its enemies by its unmense merchant navy, and by 
no means from the number of its ships-of-war. . -n •« 

As on the other hand, the want of a commercial navy deprives Russia 
of its proper nursery for seamen, so on the other, from this veiy want the 
whole object of existence of a Russian fleet is different from that of others. 
It has no merchantmen to protect, nor distant colomes with which to keep 
up a communication. There are no convoys required ; the snow and ice- 
fields that she possesses in North America, to which an expedition is made 
every three years, excepted, Russia has no colonies to visit, no commerce to 
protect in distant waters, against unexpected enemies or pu^tes. 

The English, French, Dutch, and Danish fleets have constantly, even 



; 



♦ To the natives of Alsace, Lorraine, &c. &c 



192 



THE RUSSIAN NAVY. 



in the midst of a general peace, warlike business on their hands in distant 
parts of the globe; a blockade in America, an insult to their flag to 
avenffe near AustraUa, pirates to chastise or slave-ships to take possession 
of. The Russian fleet has nothing but its yearly manoeuvres on the 
Baltic and the Black Sea; hence the dexterity to be acquired by experi- 
ence must be wanting. The fleets of other European powers have the whole 
ocean for their practice-field ; the Russians have only two inland seas, 
nor even those in full measure, on account of the peculiar situation of the 
Russian harbours. Their climate is such that in the Baltic ports, in the 
White Sea and the Sea of Okhotsk, the fleets are compelled to remain 
inactive the greater part of the year. For six or eight months their 
vessels lie useless in their harbours ; the time for practice in navigation is 
consequently very short, and the free disposal of their naval strength, m 
caseof a war, much limited. «? /^j 

The relations of the southern ports of Astrakhan, ^ikolayefF, Odessa, 
Kherson, and Sevastopol, in reference to cUmate, are Uttle more favourable ; 
so that for the greater part of the year, a Russian fleet may be looked 
upon as little better than an unavailable force, or a dead capital. 

There is no other power in the world to which it is relatively so inor- 
dinately expensive to maintain a maritime force, notT^-ithstandmg the 
scanty pay of the seamen, nor any to whom it is relatively of so little ad- 
vantage, as to Russia. Besides the above-mentioned causes for the excessive 
cost of the Russian navy, there are some peculiarities m the two chiet 
ports which greatly tend to increase it ; namely, the fresh water at 
Cronstadt, which makes the vessels decay rapidly ; while in the salt 
water of Sevastopol there is a most pitiless foe, a small worm, which is 
rapidly and extensively destructive to ship-timber. It is asserted, that 
from these causes alone, the duration of a Russian ship is equal to only 
half that of a French or English vessel. If this last fact be correct, and it 
is admitted by a recent Russian traveller, who calls the worm, "teredo 
navaUs," two things must be certain,— that the timbers of many Russian 
ships must be in a very unsound condition, and that their repairs must cost 
enormous sums. Undeniably, the great expense of Russia for her navy, 
other relations and circumstances considered, must be classed among the 
expenses of luxury. Taken at the minimum, the cost of repairs, equip- 
ment, &c., of 350 ships, the pay of the 50,000 sailors and marines, the 
maintenance of the harbours, twelve in number, of the seventeen hospital- 
stations for the fleet, and of the schools and institutions connected with the 
sea at St. Petersburg, Cronstadt, Nikolayeff^, Arkhan^l, Kherson^ and 
Odessa, must amount to a yearly sum of sixty millions of rubles. Within 
the last eleven years, the gross amount cannot be much short ot 700 
miinons ; that is, it has swallowed up sixteen times the revenue ot Foland, 
while some expeditions to North America, and the transport of some 
troops to Constantinople and the Caucasus, excepted, nothing has been 
eained by it. A fleet is scarcely necessary to Russia under her present 
relations, and must be mamtained with a view to the future. Russia 
must be keeping her fleet in readiness to occupy better ports, when she 
eets them. When Russia is in possession of the Bosphorus and the 
Sound, her fleet will then become a necessity, will then obtain weight and 
siffDificance in the state ; at present it is nothing but a burden to the 
country, and perhaps the more dangerous to others on that very account, 
for Russia will make some effort to rid herself of her burden. 



193 



CHAPTER XXV. 

MISCELLANEOUS NOTICES. 



Among the first things which strike a traveller in St. Petersburg 
are a kind of small towers, seen here and there over the tops of the 
houses. They are not very high, though sufficiently so to command a 
view over the quarter to which they belong ; roimd, and pierced with 
rows of small windows one above another, surrounded by a gallery, and 
surmomited by a multitude of iron rods and fastenings, the use of which 
is not very evident at first sight. These are the towers of the Slashes, 
or police stations, which serve as watch-towers against the two elements 
most formidable to St. Petersburg, fire and water. Day and night these 
galleries are paced by a couple of veterans wTapped in their sheepskins, 
who keep a vigilant look out upon their quarter. The iron poles belong 
to a telegraphic apparatus, intended to announce the approach or the 
occurrence of danger to the police and the public. 

To announce danger from the water they have red flags ; for danger 
from fire (in the day) globular balls of black striped leather, or sackcloth, 
and for fire by night, red-coloured lamps. Of every class of signs there 
are four pieces always at hand, which, arranged in various figures and con- 
stellations, indicate the quarter of the city threatened. Each part of the 
city has its peculiar figure. These four signs are amply sufficient for the 
twelve divisions of St. Petersburg, as they can be arranged in more than 
thirty different constellations, as thus : 

























































































































































































































































1 


















































1 















The flao-s are dreaded above all, for St. Petersburg knows its weak side 
to be that^uraed towards the sea. About fii'e they concern themselves 

o 



194 MISCELLANEOUS NOTICES. 

little -, for if a St. Petersburger were to get out of bed for every fire, he 
wotdd scarcely ever have a quiet night. "I went to my window one 
evening in my house on the EngUsh quay," said a fnend of mme once to me. 
"andlw a^great fire somewhere. Where is that fire ? I "'qr!.*^ «[ 
my servant. •' Oh, some houses are on fire on the Jiborg side ! Bo^ 

thire is another !" " That is the galley harbour m flames ! And Jrom 

a third window I saw a third tire !" " That is the Winter Palace, said my 
servant. There is hardly a public building or a quarter in St. Petei-s- 
burg that has not been at some time or other a prey to the flames. 1 e 
carelessness of the people, the many stoves which must be heat^ '^"^h the 
greater part of the year, the numerous lamps kept burmng day and night 
before the pictures of saints,-and more than aU, the immense quantity ot 
wood used in budding, arc the causes of those frequent conflagrations. 
Petersburg has more wood, consequently more fires, than Bcrhu ; Berhn 
more than Vienna, where stone is more in use. The Russian government 
is directing its attention to the transformation of St. Petersburg and other 
cities into stone; and this petrifying process has ^J^^^f f "^?J« J^/^ 
proirress in Moscow, that a second conflagration Idee that of 1812 «ou d 
le impossiWe ; if, therefore, another Napoleon came, he would be harder o 
drive out. The more Russia becomes civihzed, Uie easier will she be to 
attack from the west. 

STATISTICAL NOTICES. 

The follo%ving details are selected from the journal of the minbter of 

the interior : „ , , i i „„„ ,.ntl. 

The increase in the use of coals in St. Petersburg has kept pace with 
the increasing industry of the city. In tlie yeai- 1822 ^t.Vo^-'^TshvTg con- 
sumed but 8000 chaldrons, 10,000 in 1829, 13,700 m 1834, and m 1840, 

in St, Petersburg, which lies so far distant from its inland salt-mines, 
the greater part consumed in St. Petersburg is forelgti salt, Isorwegian, 
Port^ese, Ld German ; 30,000 poods of native, to above 400,000 poods 
of foreign salt. 

SUICIDES. 

There are fewer suicides in St. Petersburjr than in any capitalin Eu- 
rope. On an average, not 50 occur in a year ; for every 10,000 in- 
nabitants, therefore, not more than one yearly lays violent hands on him- 
self. Taking the average period of life at 35 years, not more than one 
out of 300 commits suicide. 

ELEMENTS OF THE POPULATION. 

No city in Europe contains so many nobles, so many serfs, and so many 
soldiers as St. Petersburg. Among its 500,000 inhabitants 50,000 are 
nobles, 110,000 serfs, and 70,000 soldiers. Therefore every tenth man 
in St. Petersburg Is a noble, every fomth a serf, and every seventh a 

The most important members of the population axe of course the nobles 



ELEMENTS OF THE POPULATION. 



195 



and the merchants. The division of the town property between these 
two classes is remarkable. If the whole were divided into 154 shares, 
the nobles would hold 63, and the merchants 70 shares. The number of 
merchants is estimated at 10,000; the nobles, as before said, at 50,000. 
Then on an average, every merchant has more than five times as much land 
in the city as the nobleman. Of course what the nobles possess without 
the city does not enter into this calculation. The above relation^ shows, 
however, plainly, of what importance the mercantile class is to the internal 
affairs of the capital. The class of artisans have only seven shares in the 
154, and the foreigners, who, naturally, as much as possible, avoid purchas- 
ing, have only two shares. 

The extent of ground covered by the city is about 81 square versts, or 
20 millions of square sashes, reckoning 7^ feet to the sashe. Of these 
20 millions, 1,800,000 are occupied by houses; about 900,000 of stone, 
and as many of wood. All the rest, that is, more than nine-tenths of the 
ground, consists of fields, gardens, water, streets, courtyards, and open 
squares. The courts of the houses take up 2^ miUions of square sashes. 
Every house in St. Petersburg has, therefore, on an average, a courtyard, 
somewhat larger than the house itself. The surface of the canals and 
rivers contains about one million ^or^Ae^, that of the streets 1,600,000, the 
open places four milHons. The streets and squares or places contain nearly 
six millions together, and would therefore require not less than a thousand 
millions of paving-stones to cover them, if we allow to every stone on an 
average half a square foot of surface. If a company of a hundred paviers 
were therefore constantly at work, holidays excepted, ai^ if every man 
could lay down 150 stones a-day, they would have employment for 200 
years, to pave every public place. As St. Petersburg has been scarcely 
a hmidred years m existence, it is no great wonder that it is not aU 

^^The churchyards cover an extent of 124,000 square sashes, the gardens 
51 millions, the fields enclosed in the city, 3^ miUions. The three Admi- 
ralty divisions occupy a surface of two millions of square ^cf^Ae^, or one-tenth 
of the whole territory of the city. If this be compared with the data before 
ffiven of the value of the immovable property in the different parts ot 
the city, it will be seen that these three Admiralty divisions, or one-tenth 
of the superficial extent, possess 1 J more immovable value than the other 
nine-tenths, or that a given space withm the Admiralty divisions is worth 
twelve tunes as much as the same space elsewhere. 

MOVEMENT OF THE POPULATION. 

At the death of Peter the Great, Petersburg had 75,000 inhabitants, in 
1840 500 000. In 115 years, therefore, the population has mcreased 
six-fok • On an average it has doubled every 40 years. If it contmue to 
increase at the same rate, in 1900 it wiU amount to more than a milhon, 
and approach that of London. The rate of increase has not, however, been 
constaiftly the same. Under Catherine the Second it was slow ; m the 
latter half of the last century, very rapid. The greatest impulse seems to 
have been given in the first quarter of the present century. From 1800 
to 1830, it rose from 220,000 to 450,000. The destruction of Moscow 
probably contributed in part to this remarkable increase. 



196 



NUMBER OF CHURCHES. 

^f Moscow on account of its 1000 churches, is called « the Holy," 
PeLwmkyHld perhaps in secret is, called the Unholy, on account 
JTU of tLm. St PetLburg at the utmost has 5 1 church ; only 
34 of which are of the orthodox Russian Greek church J ^^^^ ^ f ^h 

7 !i :^r.I, r,hes are Herrnhuters, Armenian, and Catholic churches. 
S Cat Sc cw" ^called simply the Polish, because the greater 
part Sf those who attend it are of that nation. 

THE RASHTSHIKS. 

A peculiar kind of artisans in St. Petersburg, and indeed in all Russian 
cititCe X sculptors in wood, or ROshtshiks. It was to be expected 
lZt\Zg the inh^abitants of the immeasurable fores s "f Russi^^p cu 
lUr devteritv in wood-carving would develop itself. Many houseuoia 
utLils S w th us are fomfed of clay or u-on, are «.rved out of wood 

r* Vussia , suciias pots Jug. ^^^-:^^'::-^£:^^^ Lt 

Srsutprylem ^^ l^rquafes ; the RUsVu^ikst i^^the^--' 
work ffenerallv, at the ornamental part of the intenor of churches, ana 
mat' frameTfo; the pictures of saints, for which an enormous quantity of 

" muHn evirjother-kuid of ■ mechanical labour the Germans far sur- 

wore h°s caftan exactly ^ Ws^forefathers learnt of the Monguls to wear it 
l^^ZsTo Wlicn he saw that I was a German he reconnnended 
S his sXa young man of twenty, who undertook to e^am -ep^ 
thing to me. The young gentlemaai wore a frock-coat -"^ h s ha^r « /a 
it-une France and spoke French and German. As both the antique 
Ser and the modem^son were alike interesting to me, I requested them 
boXto remain, which they willingly did. The ffjther f oUed ^ ^^^^^^ 
l>r>or<1 and related how he had come a poor " mushik to bt. 1 etersDurg, 
S h J risen fTom the huniblest beginnings ; the son settled lus silken 

. Reimer gave 65,™ 1810 a„ah^^^^^^^ 
eluded iu this numteraU the chapeUm^^^ ST^Lllcnburg, reckons 147 churches 

or clothes cuttcr-(Tuch or Klcider Schneider). 



THE RASHTSHIKS. 



197 



cravat, and informed me that they had forty ^'Ortoen in their pay, and their 
*',,.' f . t.i.„ fl_.i. :,, Of Pfitersbura-. The father showed me the 

estabhshment was the hrst m St. rereisourg. ^ppnvition of 

vine and flower wreaths that he was carving m wood for the decoration oi 
Hhi^h the son interrupted him to show me a Venus and a Hercules 
bespXnby some ambassLor or other ; the father pointed to a pa^ of 
Stfc " iodsvetshniks" (church lamps), for the new Smolnoi church 
ffiL^oHo a couple of elegant caudelabras ."ft- M-n model^^ 
some garlands for Rococo sofas, now m fashion in « ^P«t™g• J*"'^ 
we"efqually zealous in their assurances that their "institution was the 
te?of^ts kind in the city, that it was known to the empei-or, and that 
he had conferred on them a medal of honour some y;^^ .b^J>'^: ^.,^ 

The drawings which the caners made use of were veiy tan ones, a. a 
thel dexterity^in forming the whole figu.., from -f J "'^^.P- ^ jS 
wonderful Each of the workmen had a drawmg before him and woikea 
Ton the block of wood with chisel, knife, and hammer. Among the 
Tees of wort executed by the workmen in their !«-- '^"-; J^S 
Lremely beautiful; for example, a bouquet of flo^'^Jf^of the '"O^t de h^ate 

kind, aiii ears of corn, with the beard '"''^^^f ^t^^^ ^ buuXrall^ 
catemUlar was crawling, on another was perched a fly ''^ ,^^''^^*^f ^ '^Xi; 
even to the thread-Uke legs and feelers, cut in wood. /^tZZVih^Z 
that of the Ume-tree exclusively. Their gildingjaltoge^^^^^^^^ 
their carvintr is good. The rococo, which has been ne^v y resusc^awa 
from thrarchives of the cabinet-makers of the la^t centutr, has had 
Ihankst Aese Rashtshiks, a wonderful success in Russia, where all the 
world were e-ivino: orders for rococo furniture. /^.^rrcr 

Som Mr^ Popugayeff (P"^""*'^ .-»> ^ ft '°af % StsJifi^d 
baker), and then to Mr. Pusfunm (empty ^'j^^^^J .^/^^^^^^^eW^^^ 
found every where the same arrangements ; bearded fathers and trencm 



one. 



T l^po-o-pa Mr K— to illustrate tliis by an example. Oh, there are 

1 begged ivir. iv w lu j ^ quantity ot 

examples enough," said he. "B"t ^cry lately m ^/Calculation 

wood-carving wanted for a newly-buJt chmc . I '^-/^«^7j[;i^^ ^^^^ 

very exactly according to the plfnlaid down the ti>n^'^jj^« y^^_ 

must be finished, &c., and found I co'f'l ™*^ I* iHvTs given him, but 
A Russian offered to take the contract at 7000 , "jas g , 



THE RASNOSHTSIIIKS. 



190 



198 



THE RASHTSniKS. 



ir 



that a greater quantity of work had been required than was agreed for, 
and that it could not possibly be done for the sum bargained for. The 
work has scarcely been finished two years, and the gilding is tarnished 

ah«ady.*' 

Every thing in Russia is managed much in the same manner, and there 
are abundance of such stories of promise and non-performance. 

THE RASNOSHTSHIKS (PEDLERS). 

I know not whether it be the imquiet nomadic element mingled in the 
Russian blood, which does not allow any person or thing to be so stable 
and sedentary as in our more solid Germany, or whether it must be as- 
cribed to the active spirit of speculation, wliich urges them to look on all 
sides for the best market for their wares ; but it is certain that nowhere 
are there so many wandering merchants and artisans as in Russia. Per- 
haps the severity of the climate, which requires constant movement, has 
something to do with it. The enormous extent of the empire may also be 
a cause for tbis ; for, in many instances, if the sellers did not go to the 
buyers, their wares would not be bought at all. The suppleness and 
address of the Russians, who can turn all things to account, and are never 
to be found at a loss, render easy to them much that would be impossible to 
a German. 

The Russians call these wandering traders Rasnoshtshiks, or Prominish- 
lenniks. For this kind of commerce every Russian has a decided talent, 
and adopts it more readily than any other. Peter the Great knew this 
well, when he advised the Jews not to come to Russia, where thev would 
find their masters, in the art of bargaining. Among the hundred 
nations that obey the Russian sceptre, the native of Great Russia, properly 
so called, is exclusively the traveUing merchant, or pedler, except in the 
Polish pro^dnces, where the Jew is his rival. 

As India has been conquered by EngUsh merchants, so has Siberia been 
conquered by the Russian pedlers, who, exploring by degrees these vast 
countries in the hiterest of their trade, not only first wound around them 
the bonds that were to unite them to Russia, but took up arms to assist in the 
mcorporation. In the east and on the Persian frontier, in the south-west 
towards Moldavia and Walachia, and in the extreme north of Lapland, the 
active and far-reacliing Prominishlenniki, are spinning the same threads. 

The centre of Russian pedlering, as of all other peculiarly Russian en- 
terprises, is Moscow. The great manufactiuing chiefs of that city are 
connected with multitudes of Rasnashtshiks, who have a certain amoimt 
of credit with them. Thus furnished, the trader nails his saint's picture 
to his one-horse Telega, and sets out cheerfully to visit all parts of the 
known and the imkno\vn world. Whole caravans of them are to be met 
with traversing the empire in every direction, with their carts decked out 
with saints* pictures and the herbs of the steppes. They cross the Black 
Sea to the Tartars, though these are but poor customei-s, pass the Cau- 
casian chain, traverse Siberia, and seek gain at the very foot of the Chinese 
wall. Persia is not too hot for them, nor Kamschatka too cold, when the 
chnk of the silver ruble is heard. K the market among the barbarians is 
not profitable, they hasten across the Lena, the Yenisei, and the Ob, to 
the Baltic and St. Petersburg. What they cannot get rid of there, they 



carry among the "swamp people," as the Finns call themselves, and re- 
turn at last to Moscow after two or three years absence, to pay their cre- 
ditor, who, in the mean time, probably has never heard a syUable of them. 

We western Europeans cleave to om- rocks and mountams; but the 
nulses of Russian life beat on immeasurable plains around the whole cir- 
Serenceof the globe, for between the Russian Amencaxi possessioijs 
ZZ^L^. of L Ic; sea, there remains but a --Vr^trrra f^w 
the circle Whilst we Germans sometimes feel ourselves strange a tew 
mLs from our native soil, the Russian is at home every where m his v^t 
Sve land,Tnd it is all one to him whether he earn his ^ unde^^^^^^ 
parallel of Constantinople, or on the shores of the Po ar sea It wodd be 
a great mistake to suppose the numerous street population of t^^ R— 
eitles all natives of the place. They come together from all parts of the 
north and south, to disperse again to the e^t and west. 

In no citv is this more the case than in St. Petersburg, m whose streets 
all Sirgo~ find representatives, and whither dealers and artisans 

''S^'^:^.^^ a multitude of breakable commoditi. 
standing in constant need of repair. In all Russian towns artisans of ^ 
khids are roamin^r about to supply this constantly recurring necessity; which 
S eXTone! because th^Fmanual dexterity enables them to do neariy 
^ much with a mere hatchet as can be accomplished elsewhere with ham- 
Lr Xk knife, and chisel. Wandering coopers smiths, tailors and 
rem'akers' are re'ady at a call to hoop, hammer, and paU.h ; even g Wrs 
risk their fragile materials in the streets for the chance of a trifling protit. 
"% SLdeSscream is that of the flower-merchants who ^^-^^^^^^^ 
about in pots placed slantingly onaboarduponthen- heads; deale^^^^^ 

fng-birds traverse the streets, hung with cages from head to f ^^^^^ 
others are perfectly laden with boots, stockmgs, and gloves. Almost every 
e vTnru^^^^^^^ branch of industry from distant parts of the mighty 

ciy annoimceb &u i 'c^r>^r.na nnlv to the neighbourhood. 



frnm Moscow^ " Klialati Bukhorskiyi" (^lartar aressii.j^-gu,ywoy » ^-^ 
t goTans S Tartars are distinguisid for their skiU in the Fep^t^ ^ 
WW and almost ever>' branch of manufacture connected with this article 
b £ia ht S Its o.^^^^^ from them ; as the gold and silver embroidered 
Ls and SeTof Moscfw ; the richly-adorned morocco boots for mornmg 
X of Ca an which are in use throughout Russia, and are a so exported. 
l7Z,%oJ.s are almost the only tMng. tha* do -t come throng R^ 
sian hands, but from those of the Tartar makers, ineir wm 
generaTy their only merchandise, and for them alone they cmne ioSLje- 
tersbur/ where thiy are often called " dressing-gown Tartai-s. ^e'*?!"'/ 
Ihe Tartaror Bokharian gowns, are the most perfect things o the kmd 
The p'fce is mlrate, theVttem of the silk extremely beaut^ . f - 
very e e^t, and the coloiis lasting; they are of the fe«;^a;;^'fr'^j;X^ 
S are always in fashion. The dressing-gown ^arta^ may be fctin 
miished at a glance from the rest of the street population of bt. mere 
Cg by their^cleanliness of apparel, carefully trimmed beards, shorn heads, 

and serious anxious physioj^nomy. , . 

None of the Rasnoshtshiks deal in a more current article *?'' the pic 
ture-dealers of Moscow. The Russian delights to decorate his dweUing 
wi!rti all sorts of gaily-coloured pictures. The Kabaks (spmt-shops), the 



200 



THE RASNOSHTSIIIKS. 



PRESS OF THE COURT LADIES. 



201 



sittinff-rooms of the lower classes, the Uttle cahins of the nver barges, often 
even the inside of the sledges and kibitkis are plastered over w.th pictures 
coloured paper, and patches of gay-looking carpet. The ch.e ^^^-^^^^ 
of these Jicles is Moscow, whence they .ssue to aU parts of the emp^. 
These pictures may be divided into tlnree classes, religious political, and 
esthetic. The religious are the oldest, the most peculiarly Russian and 
th mo^; universalis favoured. They represent all the ™ and su^e^ 
that constantly busy the fancy of a Russian, -Heaven with 'ts happmess 
HeU with its toi-ments, the seven universal churches ^"'l" t'^«y~^ 
sacred cupolas and towers, the twelve most celebrated convents of Ru»sia, 
Xn o~et; Moscow the Holy with its thousand churches; then the 
IZ satire pictures, such as the " gold devil" scattering money among 
th™>le, and dazding and seducing all classes; the devil of love, and 
Ihe S of vanity, mocking and leading bv the nose men and women of 
mSs\ then the holy martyrs assisting the poor and sick and bearing 
Sth patience the greatest torments in their own persons. AU these objects 
we depicted with ireat liveliness of fancy and colouring, and m the greatest 

^''Se political pictures all take for their subjects the ^eW persons of 

their emperors, and illustrate a number of anecdotes relative to them. The 

Emperor Peter when, on the lake of Ladoga, he seued the helm of the little 

ve7el and callk to the affrighted boatmen, " Courage my bre rt.^" > ^^ 

vou ever hear of an emperor drowned m a puddle? The i''"pe'^' 

Cer puttinff on the imperial crcs-n; Alexander trving to restore to Me 

rtieperan fUd frozen to death in Lithuania; Nicliolas wrapped m his 

impTen'ntle, in an ordinary Russian Troika (a carriage with three h^^^^^^^^ 

■m which he drives through his empire ; or with his son Constantine on his 

L in a small boat with his consort ; the heir to the imperial crown as he 

^tends his father at a review. There is a positive cyclus of such scenes, as 

Cerent aT the stamped coin of the realm, and continually reappearing m 

tC2e form and manner, and making part and parcel of the national 

^^The aesthetic pictures are mere imitations of foreign productions sent 
from Vienna, Paris, and Berim, to Moscow, where they are immediately 
ZLlaH hito Russian ; that is quickly imitated, furnished with Russian 
inscriptions, and sold at a low price to the Rasnoshtshiks who disperse 
Temlroughout the world. The pretty face of the Q--;^ En^J^^ J^ ^ 
the beard of Louis Philippe, are thus made known on the °ther ^ide ot the 
Caucasus Napoleons portrait is as common as among us, and all the ro 
markaWe events connected with that mighty apparition are vanously pre- 
sented in these pictures to the Russian people. 

DRESS OF THE COURT LADIES. 

Since the Emperor Nicholas has introduced the old «" costume for 
ladles at his court (the Bentlemen keep their uniforms), there is no other 
Hun\J; world tL p^resents so splendid an appance on gala days 
The chief garment is the Sarafan, a wide open robe 7'thput sleeves ,un 
derneath isNvorn a full long-sleeved gown T^e sarafan i^teelf is gene^^^^ 
made of velvet richly embro dered with gold, f ^f 'fff^ The ^ d^ 
ing in the embroiderj- according to the rank of the lady. 1 he under dress 



is lighter in colour, generally of silk, and the long sleeves clasped at the 
wrist with gold bands. The hair is braided smooth, and adorned with the 
Kokoshnik, a kind of diadem, crescent-shaped, with the pomts turned to- 
wards the back. This kokoshnik, richly set with pearls and precious stones, 
and from the back of wliich descends a long veil, gives every lady the air 

" The" directions with respect to foi-m and colour of these robes are very 
exact, but enough is stiU left free to be varied by theaaste of the wearer. 
The maids of honour are distinguished by their head-dress. Ihe whole 
has at once the imposing effect of uniformity with the interest of variety. 

The court of Vienna lays claim to a more solid magnificence in its cour- 
tiers and magnates. This may be true, but with respect to outward ap- 
pearance, splendour of colour, and tasteful arrangement of forms, no court 
can be compared with that of St. Petersburg. And with resi)ect to manners, 
if we are to suppose the well-kno>vn prescriptions of Cathenne for the 
demeanour of her courtiers at the Hermitage to have been seriously meant, 
the court must have undergone an extraordinary change ; the Russian 
courtiei-s now find as much to ridicule in other courts, as others formerly 
found in theirs. 

NUMBER OF HORSES IN AN EQUIPAGE. 

The imperial state equipage has six horses, although the emperor, when 
alone, frequently drives only one. The nobles down to a certain rank 
diive four ; but merchants, tradesmen, and all not noble are restncted to 
two horses. Twice only are they allowed the pleasure of dnvmg m a tour- 
horsed carriage ; on then: wedding-day, and at their funeral. 

CONSECRATION OF A HOUSE. 

I was one day passing a window round which many persons were 
crowdinsr, and fomid that the house, which belonged to at obaccomst, was to 
be consecrated. As I knew something of the owner I entered the door- 
way and was immediately invited to enter and " assist" at the ceremony. 
He had had his business in another street, and was now removing and 
extending it. All was as bright as new silver in his establishment ; the 
counters and sofas were of highly-polished mahogany ; the beds in he 
further cliambers made up and decorated, but as yet unslept m ; m the 
W shop, pareels of tobacco, chests of cigars, and other wares, were 
arranged in the best order; the weights and scales were all ready and 
as bright as gold ; but not an ounce of any thing had yet been sold. 

A large pfrty of guests in gala dresses filled the rooms; some friends 
and relations of the merchant, bowing and crossing themselves, marched 
after a party of priests in full pontlficalibus. Every tobacco-box and 
cia-ar-chest, every divan, table, and chair, every corner, doorway, wa.ll, and 
whidow, wL visited, blessed aaid sprinkled the officiating priests singing 
and swinging the censers all the time. The whole ended with a feast; 
and the merriment was still going on at the back of the house when the 
business began in the front, while the blessmg was yet warm and trcsli. 



ij 



202 



BRULOFF'S PICTUKE of POMPEII, 

The most celebrated artists of the St. Petersburg academy are BrUloff, 
Or£5 and Tolstoy. I saw several of their works, and can affirm that 

''iwky^ifd^TotfhLelf to cabinet paintings, the subj.ects from 
n^i £ which wiU long continue to afford .-f -<^^f ^^^^i^: 
+1.P artist knows bow to choose them. Orlowsky, the Kussian Horace 
VerSts pSularly famous for his horses, which he ha. stud^ m th^ 
Steppes One of his best, and best-known pictures is his " Conner. A 
San tr^ka is carried on at fidl speed by three wild horses. The 
anTmals t emselves are all tire and spirit from nostril to the extremity of 
e^rLl X carriage rushes on over stock and stone through a whiri- 
3of dus thebefrded courier sits upright as a dart upon his seat 
Sy grasping the reins, and securely guiding the steeds, who fly onwards 

i<? if borne on the win^s of the wind. , „ i • «^ 

mtoy^s known ts a sculptor; his subjects modelled m wax a« 
executed with the gi-eatest precision and taste. The campaign of 1812 
h-Ki been illustrated by him in a scries of bas-rcliets. 
"^ Moff is 1 mostUbrated of the tln.ee, y^ he h-.^^y P^J-^;- 
absolutely original picture, the " Destruction ofPompeii. This celebrated 
See hano-s in a room by itself in the Academy of Arts. It '^ «»* ^lo"e 
the on V Tmportant work of the painter, but the only production of the 
Rus°kn school known in foreign comitries. A circumstantial criticism of 
£Ttu^ would lead us too far, even if I were competent to the task ; it 
She enough to give a description of the subject, the idea of the artis^ 
Zi of the louning of the whole. When the picture was at Rome these 
wereluwef known; but placed as it is, so far out of the track of ordmary 
fravpllers it may be somewhat forgotten. 

The forelr3 is a street of Pompeii. The two hues of hov^es are 

U-f in Z distance as far as the gates of the city, before which the fiery 
lost m t^ distance as ti^ a g j^^ ^^^^^ ^^^ labouring 

mo^ab t^e c usfof trcfiamJty, sends forth its fierce red light through 

Xbt and vapour. The blackest midnight covers the face of heaven ; only 

thfforked hgLning, issuing from its destruction-swollen womb, bnghtens 

for a nioment the scene in the streets below. In the centre lies a woman 

st^ck deTby the lightning, and still in the last agony clasping her mfant 

on The cbU L(?.scious^of the horrors around stretches playfii^y after 

ZVlowtn- ashes on the ground. On the right-hand totters an old gray- 

iTaferman, whom a younger one and a W 7 t^ymg to cai^^^^^^^^^^ 

further off is seen a bridegroom, surrounded by the tear-smcicen oriuai 

^^st^ and endeavouring to%ave his flower-crowned bnde The fond pair 

Sv^l theS attainfd the summit of their wishes,.and death overtakes 

♦Vipm on the sweetest festival of their hves ! , , i i. xi. j 

To the left Ts the principal group, the imbodiment, probably, of the do- 
minant idea of the picture -an allusion to Christianity triumphant over the 
3s of the heathen. Fi^m the faUen temple rush forth the pnests in 
SLgament: laden with the sacred vessels and thepow^^^^^^^^ 

aid thiy invoke in vain. Fear and anguish are pam*^ ' , of a Tubter 
colours on their features, Ulumined by the lightning. Out of a subter 



BRULOFF'S PICTURE OF POMPEIt 



203 



ranean church or crypt (the Christian faith may well have msmuated itself 
at that time mto Pompeii) a Christian pnest comes forth, a disciple of the 
Apostles. He is contemplating earnestly but without dread, the passmg 
scene in the heavens and on the earth, and appears to console and encou- 
rage some poorly-clad persons clinging by his side in fervent pr^er. The 
driss of the pnest and his censer point him out as of the Greek con- 
fession-a homage to the national church as we as to Christianity. In 
the distance are seen many objects of terror, families flying from the falhng 
houses, horses wild with terror, &c. An effect particdarlystnking m 
produced by the marble statues shaken by the earthquake from their places 
on the roof, as if, like so many " stone guests," they vvere descending ot 
their own accord. Glared on by the lightning, and their outlines sharply 
defined against the blackened skies, they hover obhquely in the air, about 
to fall, cmshing and crushed, upon the bride, thepnests, the children and 
the old men. Besides the chief figures there are many accessories to the 
effect ; as, for instance, a young rider upon a fnghtened and reanng horse. 
The j^uth is ghastly pale, held in the saddle by his convulsive gT^P o* ^e 
steed : he is already lifeless, and the horse is gallopmg away «th a dead 
rider. A number of rich ornaments and precious stones have faUen irom a 
slave in the street : all this splendour, all this life will soon be covered with 
night and horror, and centuries must pass away before the ashes ot that 

brTde are brought to the light of day. , i • . j ^ -i, „f 

Leaving it to better critics to praise or blame the technical details of 
the picture, I will only remark that it is undoubtedly one of the test pro- 
duces of a modem Jencil, and that it is m«.h to be la-nted that the 
artist should so soon have abandoned the creative sod of Italy for volup- 
?uo^ St. Petersburg, whose muse is idleness, and m he s^eam of whose 
nleasure-seekinff life all productive genius is so quickly cnppled. Brulott 
ri^wputttg^on canvass the pretty faces of the court lad.es and the gay 
ILifoms of the Russian genei4; and thus anonginal gemus is degraded 

" ThirjktStpted, there is little else worth seeing in the Academy of 
ArtsTAademia Khudoyestve) for the artist or the connoisseiur • but for 
Sc ethnograph and the traveller, who are interested in seemg all thm^ 
fL S oL point of view, and as productions of their pohtical and 
moral relations, there is enough that is instructive. 

The best among the works there displayed are the cartoons of Rafael 
MenS -an A^ouf and Muses ; and the Muse of Histo^ hstenmg ma 
We of Fame, and recording past events in a book Among the three 
huT^d pictures purchased in Italy for the Academy there are some good 
^s includlnTafew Raffaelles and Peniginos. The statues that Admu-al 
Son coll! cted among the islands of the Archipelago, are mere f^g- 
merts Some statues brought from Wai-saw are not without value. Here 
r^t are tTbeLnthe bu^s of Peter the Great and Cath-ne the Secc«^ 
two earthly sovereigns whose countenances are as often met with m Russia 
aTthoTe of the two spiritual kings, Schiller and Gmhe, are among us in 
Germany. In the Judst of the wrecks of the old Greek world, Polish 
t^phies, and the portraits of the c^ars, are also seen the features of the 
Ztest general of our time. Napoleon, of whom a fine marble statue wa« 
carried away from the good city of Hamburg by Bemiigsen and Witgen- 
stein, who transported it to St. Petersburg. , . , , c^i. 

The building itself is one of the finest in the city, and, mdeed, one of the 



204 



bhuloff's picture of pompett. 



PICKPOCKETS. 



205 



1 



finest as well as the largest temples of art in the world. It stands on 
Vassili Ostroff, on the Neva ; a magnificent quay, whose granite blocks and 
noble steps form the pedestal and avenue of the temple, supports a^so the 

guardians of its gate, two superb Eg-j-ptia" ¥""''«^' ^^^'y P'^fri^i" fi,w 
111 the colossal productions of Egyptian architecture would seem iitly 
placed in colossal St. Petersburg. The building is of the «•>- Po- 
tions, and has an elevation of 70 feet, with a circumference °f 2oO toi»e , 
the whole length, 400 feet along the Neva facade, is adonied with 
columns and pilasters. On the centre cupola a colossal Minerva is seated, 
and the portal is borne by a Famese Hercules and a Flora. 

Tlie building is so extensive, that not only the 300 pupils who here re- 
ceive instruction, but the professors and academicians, and many artists, 
not less it is said than a thousand persons, lij;e there. It also contains 
some other collections of antique sculpture, Italian paintings, and some by 
the pupils ; but compared with the coUecUons of Berlm, Dresden, and 
Vienna, they are insignificant. 

RIVER SHIPPING. 

The little St. Petersburg gondolas that navigate the Nevn, have a 
broad and low prow, and a high-pointed stem. A more important cl^s 
of vessels than the gondolas arc the great struse Heets which come to St. 
Petersburg in summer from the interior. There are among them, V olga, 
Kama, Ladoga, Dwina, and Volchoff ships, with which nyers, owing to 
an extensive iystem of canals, St. Petersburg is in constant intercourse. 

The peculiar build of all these vessels, which pass under tlie general 
name of struse is this : they aie enormously large, and so little labour is 
wasted on their construction, that they look more bke productions ot 
nature than of art. The basis of them is the large trmik of the pme ot 
which the strongest side branches are left, and serve as ribs to the boat. 
The planks that cover those ribs, are smoothed merely with the hatchet 
and made fast with strong wooden pegs. The lading is covered with a 
roof formed of a young birch-tree, on which all the branches are let 
and over this a tarpawling is sometimes thrown. Round the edge ot tins 
roof a kind of gallery mns for the convenience of the crew, ^he cabin o 
the master, made of planks roughly nailed together, and decorated with 
pieces of gaudy carpet and pictures of saints, is placed m the ""ddle ot 
the ship, dividing it thus into two parts. A pine-stem fom.s the mast and 
supports an enormous sail, and two other pine-stems placed fore and att 
are the rudders, which are generally longer than the mast. That at the 
prow is often grotesquely painted in all colours, with ong stnpes, crosses, 
and stars, like the hem of Iris's gai-ment, or the tail of a peacock ; and 
by the arrangement of these colours it is that the birthplace of the bark 

is known. . , , .r,„ 

The struses amve by hundreds and thousands every summer . the 
fleets or caravans, as the Russians call them, have each their appointed 
time for leaving their places of rendezvous in the interior ; the salt cara- 
van" atone time, the "iron caravan" at another; the greater part re- 
Biain at St. Petersburg. Not more than six or eight hundred return with 
a carg<v the others are broken up for fuel ; many get frozen in before they 
aie broken up, and in the course of the winter are gradually stnpped ot 



their planks, leaving their skeleton sides erect amid the snow and ice oa 
the banks of the Neva. 

PICKPOCKETS. 

The French ambassador was one day vaunting the dexterity of the 
Parisian thieves to one of the grand-dukes, and related maiiy anecdotes of 
their address. The gTand-duke was of opinion that the St. Petersburg 
thieves were quite their equals ; and offered to lay a wager, that li the 
ambassador would dine ^vith him the next day, he would cause Kb excel- 
lency's watch, signet-ring, or any other articles of his dress which he 
thought most secure, to be stolen from him before the dessert was oyer. 
The ambassador accepted the wager, and the grand-duke sent immediately 
to the chief of the police, desiring him to send the adroitest thiet he 
might happen to have in custody at the time. The nian was dressed in 
liverv, instructed what to do, and promised a pardon if he accomphshed 
his task well. The ambassador had named his watch as the particular ob- 
icctof attention, both for himself and the thief; when he had got the 
watch, the supposed sen-ant was to give the grand-duke a sign. 

The dinner began, the prehmlnary whet, the soups and the roti came 
and disappeared in their turns ; the red, yMie, Greek, Spanish, a^d 
French wines sparkled successively in the glasses of the guests. The 
ambassador kept close guard on his watch, and the grand-duke, observing 
his earnest anxiety, smUed with good-humoured archness. The pretended 
lackey was busily assisting in the removal of the dishes, the dinner was 
neariy over, and the prince awaited with impatience the expected signal. 
Suddenly his countenance brightened ; he turned to the ambassador who 
was deep in conversation with his neighbour, and asked him what was the 
hour. His excellency triumphantly put his hand to his pocket, he had 
had it on his watch a few moments before-and to the amusement of aU, 
but particularly of the grand-duke, drew out a very neatly cut turnip ! 
A general laugh followed. The ambassador, somewhat embarrassed would 
take a pinch of snuff, and felt in aU his pockets for h.s gold snuffbox-it 
was e-one ' The laughter became louder ; the ambassador m his embarrass- 
menf and vexation had recourse to his seal ring, to turn it as he was 
accustomed-it was gone ! in short he fomid that he had been regiilarly 
; undered of every tWng but what had been fastened on h.m by the t^or 
and the shoemaker-of "ring, watch, snuff box, handkerchief, toothpick and 
cloves The adroit rogue was brought before him and commanded by 
fhe grand-duke to give back the stolen property ; when to the great sur- 
prise of the prince, the pickpocket took out hro watches, and presented 
Le to the ambassador, aL L to his imperial highness ; two nn^, one 
for the ambassador, and one for the grand-duke two ^J^^oxes &c 
In astonishment, his highness now felt in his pockets as the ambi^sador 
had done, and found thit he too had been stopped of ^.s moveaUes m a 
like manker. The grand-duke solemnly assured the ambassador that he 
had been quite unconscious of the theft, and was disposed fj^^^ 
be anffrv with the too dexterous artist. However, upon second thoughts, 
the feUow, who had enabled him to win his wager so triumphantly, was 
dismissed with a present, and a warning to employ his talents m fiiture to 
more useful purposes. 



206 



OFFICE FOE FOREIGNERS. 

In the first few days of my stay in St. Petersburg I had occasion to 
visit the Alien-office 'several times It ,s, "'ldemablJ^ one of the nws^ 
interesting offices in the city. Its d^tination .s mscnbed npon its^brow 
in four different languages. The officers are exceedingly polite, and ge 
nerZ Sres you i^your native language. In the antechamber, persons 
LT Sd^'take th'e cloak or furr'ed coat, and give t'cketsm -change 
as at a club. The haUs of audience are large and airy as ^^r^^'^^^ 
pubUc offices in Russia, whose roomy buddings bear ^'^^'^r^™^ 
L our murky dens, in point of size, as the Russian empu-c does to our 

^it^en foreigner must present himself in person to obtain and renew 
his ceSte of fermission to.reside, a very interesting society is genera^W 

^ob: found W, and one has an OPPO'J-' ^^'Sfh ^^^ 
with every stranger in St. Petersburg Here sit the ^"g^;' g'^^^^^ 
and cursiiitr more than all at the countless inquines of tf K"ff*" P° ^fj 
Germmi who take it more patiently, and give contentedly the required 

guarantees, certificates, and signatures ; g-f^^^-^.YfXrwIio iXb 
ouestions put to them in fcar and tremblmg; old [a^es who, m tntir 

tasteful in appearance than with us. Ours smack of the dismal Kaiity 
Iwe tliey emanate, and still bear the stamp ot the middle ages ; in Rus- 
sia all these things are in the newest lasluou. 

IRON ROOFS. 
Among the various architectural superiorities i^r^^^^^^'^^VJ 
Rutia rioice, may be "--^^^^-T/CiaTtke Ge'^mr;! ^^ 

andhaU. The manner of construction .s this LargXt|' °' • ^^ 

laid upon the rafters, .l^PP'" Ve' X^^S are ^^^^ 

the edges. On he side^ofj^e ra^^^^^^^^ ,^^ 

t'JerfofnXrIoi totmlnish the durakity. These roofs are 
pierced for "^'f ?'^ ;°„ " » 3 ^ frequent renewal of this paint is necessary 
commonly painted green. As a »^fl»« „ ^ 4,^ ^^j ..ew ap- 

to the P---J-";^:^tofrkilretra:t^^ tiles, and do 

ronoTtwicIrnmch (Z duiation of one is reckoned at 20, the other at 



VAPOUR-BATHS. 



207 



50 years). The iron-roofs, moreover, are lighter than any other. In case 
of fire, however, they are more dangerous, as they heat sooner, and are 
more difficult to remove. All the Russian iron roofs are incUned at a 
very slight angle, and indeed look almost flat Uke the Italian roofs. In 
summer" moreover, they are as hot as the piombi of Venice, and in winter 
as cold as an ice cave among the glaciers ; yet in St. Petersburg, Moscow, 
Odessa, and aU the chief cities of European Russia, except the Polish and 
German cities, and even in the new towns of Siberia, the greater part ot 
the better houses (those belonging to the government always) are provided 
with these convenient, elegant, flat, green roofs. 



THE FATHER OF THE RUSSIAN FLEET. 

The little boat which Peter the Great assisted to build with his own 
hands for the pm^ose of navigating the Neva dunng the bmlding of 
St. Petersburg and of his larger vessels ; that httle reed first cast by hmi 
upon the waters of the Baltic, which has since made so usurious a return, 
this Father of the Russian Fleet, as it is called in St. Petersburg, hes mtlie 
fortress under a small hut. It is well done of the Russians to honour and 
preserve it : weU done, that when it is brought from its abiding-pla<;e, it 
ihould be saluted by the thunder of the whole fleet, as when a prmce 
shows himself to his people ; but it is very ill done to pamt renew, and 
furbish up this relic as they do. They have planed and whitened away 
the old soil left by Peter's hands, they have removed the old copper that 
Peter himself naUed on, and put some that is bnght and clean in its 
place • there is nothing dusty or old-looking about it. , t, 4 

^ If ii were impossiblf to leave it as we do an old flag, qmte untouched, 
because it wa5 desirable to keep it water-tight, the sads, flags, and tackle, 
that Pet«r had himself so oft^n worked, might have been patched, butaU 
this has been put aside, and every thing made spick and span new Why 
do they not also give orders to scrape, turn, and pohsh the bones of the 
maS ^n the churches. In matters of faith or superstition, the Russians 
adhere to what is old, but not so by an historical idea. 

The vessel is thirty feet long, eight feet broad, and can spread three 
saUs In the stem of the vessel is an image carved in wood, representing 
a bng-bearded Russian pope stretching out his hand over the sea, blessmg 
^nd In^riSig it, thaf i^t may bea/the Russian fleet, typified m some 

'"'^irS^hf at»tSrK'"stands the Grandmother of die 
houses of St. Petersburg, the small wooden cottage which Peter built for 
hSf by the Neva, tiU a more splendid dweUing could be erected. It is 
twenty f%t high, forty long, the inner waUs covered with canvass, and 
stands opposite the sununer and wmter palaces. 

VAPOUR-BATHS. 

On Saturday evening an unusual movement may be seen a«?°g *« 
lower classes in St. Petersburg. Whole companies of poor soldiers who 
Wy,t a temporary furlough! troops of mechanics and labourers, whole 
Wifs, men, women, and children, are eagerly traversmg the streets 



208 



VAPOUR-BATIIS. 



«ith towels under their arms, and birch-tw.gs m Ae.r hands. From the 
Teal and haste manifested in their movements, they would seem to be 
enin on important business, as in faet thejr are the most important 
anKeeable o^f the whole week. They are going to the public baths, to 
WeTin the enjoyment of its vapour., the sufferings of the pn.t week, to 
make supple the Libs stiffened with past toil and invigorate them for 
«nt whfch is to come. The Russians are such lovers of vapour-baths, 
that i'e e ^burg contains an immense number of these establishments 
Those fo. the poor are mostly in the suburbs. Before the door, the words 
« eTranie to L baths" in large letters, invites the eye ; within the door- 
way so narrow that only one at a time can work h.s way m, sits the 
monev-takei who exchanges a ticket for the bath for a few copeks, 
Td iL Sr Jly a whole sackful of large copper coin by his side ^ear 
£ ufTouple of women selUng " schnaps" and ka atshi, while the 
SZleU thZging in and out as at a theatre. The Plotmks who make 
rhoUday at an^aHier hour on Saturday that thev may not lose tbe^ 

bath dfe servants and coachmen who have been lucky enough to get 
bath , U e servant ^^,^ ^^ ^j^^^^^ ^^^^ j^y ,3 

:::« JftL t^ al bccau;e it f^lls so seldom to his share ; men, womer, 

■^LiiTaho ntrone and follow them, to see what is going on. In 
«,i tKige b divided into two parts behind the check-taker's 
S one for'^ the male and one for the female guests. In the bathing- 
post, one t""^^ ";^ " ' . ,j^ country, the bath is often in common for 
S" : andCrfravellt maintain that the same thing takes place 
Kt. PeUrsburg. I can only say I have visited many, and always found 
*%.r. UnfliQ for tlip sexes divided from one another. . 

WetE ent r ^^open space in which a number of men are sitting ma 
-. r f!!.,i; V m. benches all dripping with water and perspiration, and 
^*;ed°?sth^:;;, wT-ng deepf-sigLg puffing, ^^^^^^^s^^^^^ 

bathed, and "«;; '" ^ g " 'p. ;„ the winter I have seen these 

blowing like Tntons m ^-f f\\J^^, ■ „„<i J^sshig in the open air. 
people all meltmg f'T. J^", 't>™ '^^^ outhouse to the baths. Round 

visible but tlie Iceble S'"""!''' J^\ ' . . ^^^g. To remain here clothed 

pe.on to lik a^n m^^^^^ ^^^JT^^ l^'^t^eT,, 
frnke%iherLi l?o her'cosie the naked people would infallibly 
haie eWted me iced-ly- Under this disguise I pmW my observations 

-7i^i:fz::u^i:zzz,:^^Z^^^^ f «- visible. 

Tbrvanor is raised by the entrance of the cold air with the new comer, 
3,thrkes':.:at"'il/e, which existing before ''l^J'f^X:ZTXTn 

fSig the vapour ;ithin, and causing it to descend m flakes of snow. 



VAPOUR-BATIIS. 



209 



The sensation at first is very singular. There are a number of persons, 
from fifty to a hundred, employed, apparently, in the most extraordinary 
manner in the world, namely, in inflicting torture on themselves. On the 
platforms, raised in the form of an amphitheatre, lie a number of bodies 
on their backs or stomachs ; if not dead, they certainly seem struggling 
with death ; for the air they are breathing can only serve to stifle. Other 
persons, their tormentors, are employed in scourging them with birchen 
rods, steeped in cold water, as if to increase the smart. Here and there a 
father is holding his Httle boy between his knees, and dihgently employed 
in flogging him. Others are standing by the glowing stoves, as if they 
wished to be roasted, and others again, descending from the upper plat- 
forms, steaming at every pore, have ice-cold water poured over them by 
the pailful, of which there are tanks at hand for the purpose. 

A man may fancy himself entering a place of penance, and take the 
people, if not for victims of persecution, as they seem willing sufferers, 
at least for mart}TS to some fixed idea, or some fanatical extravagance. 
But what will a stranger think when he questions the men, and hears 
them all protest they are delighted with their discipline, and as comfortable 

as fish in water ? . • u 

Any one, however, who can overcome the first impression, who can 
accustom his lungs to ' swallow fire, and will place himself upon a bench, 
and yield to the languor inevitably resulting from inordinate perspiration, 
will soon be enabled to solve the enigma. In the baths I am describing, 
I did not experience this enjoyment, for they were too disgusting to tempt 
me to join in the delights of the place ; but in the more elegant establish- 
ments of which there are many in St. Petersburg, and where every thing, 
antechamber, dressing-rooms, and baths are perfect in then: kind, I have otten 
experienced it. The pleasurable sensation is felt when the first disagree- 
able efi'ect of the heat is overcome, and the transpiration commences- m 
fiiU activity. Then the beneficent spirit of warmth pervades the whole 
frame, a divine sense of pleasure is all that remains to us of our existence, 
our whole being seems dissolved in fleeting vapour; aU pain, all stiftness 
vanishes from the limbs, we feel light and buoyant as feathers. Ihe 
rubbinff and flogging with birchen twigs increases the transpiration, and 
consequently the enjoyment. AU bodily pain, be it what it may, disap- 
pears in these baths ; of headach, toothach, cramps, convulsion m the 
limbs or face, gout and rheumatism, not a trace remains. It is an extra- 
ordinary excitement, a kind of intoxication of the whole nervous system. 
Of cou^e it is not asserted that the Russian baths are a radical cure tor all 
these disorders, for many pains return with increased violence afterwards ; 
but it is certain, that while in the bath, and for some hours afterwards, 
every person feels himself totally free from suffering, and hence we may 
easily comprehend the extraordinary fondness of the Russians for this 
kind of intoxication. By one of these baths a man is washed out like 
a sponffe ; not only the skin is washed, but the heart, stomach, liver 
and lungs, seem cleansed by the torrent of evaporation. For a sensual 
people, I can imagine no higher enjoyment. The Russians of all ranks 
and a^es are so accustomed to the use of these baths, that they feel un- 
well when obliged to dispense with them for any length of time ; and 
the poor soldier, fettered by the severity of discipline, will complam that 
he has not been able to enjoy the bath for a month, with as compassion 



210 



COFFEE-HOUSES. 



asking an air, as if he had undergone the pangs of hunger for as long a 
period. 

A RUSSIAN OPINION OF THE ITALIAN WINTER. 

How much the Russians love their vigorous, hearty, characterestic 
winter, has been aheady shown in the fact, that even in their Paradise 
they have not forgotten snow. I once saw a letter from a Russian servant 
who had accompanied his master's family to Italy, and wrote to his bro- 
ther from Rome, thus : " My dear Ivan, I am writing to you from 
Rome, which we have reached in the middle of the winter. But what a 
winter ! Nobody thinks of sledges. I don't know when or how the poor 
people are to bring their com and brandy into the city. It is not so cold here 
as with us, but I feel a great deal colder ; for the people have the most mise- 
rable little stoves, and no double doors and windows. Ah, my dear Ivan, 
how I envy you your comfortable stoves, and your furs. I have done a 
very stupid thing in lea - ing my furs behind me. I could have shown 
these people, who know nothing about it, how to dress for the winter ! 
January is almost over, and they have brought in no ice yet, and they 
say they have no ice-cellars ; but I can't believe it, for then every thing 
must spoil in summer. Ah how I long for our winter and our stoves. 
Dear Ivan, put up a wax-candle to St. Vladimir, and pray to him to 
send these poor people snow and good stoves, and sledges, and all the 
comfortable things we have in Russia. They may have a good summer 
but their winter is horrible." 

COFFEE-HOUSES. 

The coffee-houses of St. Petersburg are of small importance. When a 
man is sure of being received by his friends, morning, noon, and night, 
in the most obliging way in the world, he has little inclination to visit 
coffee-houses, where he must pay for every thing, and after all, is never so 
comfortable as in the house of a wealthy friend. So long as the inhabi- 
tants of St. Petersburg are so extremely hospitable, the taverns and 
coffee-houses are not likely to prosper greatly. In Paris and London 
there are people enough who spend half their time in such places ; m 
St. Petersburg they are frequented only by unconnected foreigners, or 
by officers perhaps who give each other the rendezvous there. They meet 
there to go afterwards together to the house of a mutual friend, and con- 
sume only as much as a sense of propriety obliges them to consume ; or 
they run in before dinner, to read the papers, and collect as much news as 
they can for their dinner paity. Even this trifling want has been 
enough in St Petersbu g to call into life some very elegant establish- 
mentl. The most celebrated is Beranger* s, who has several shops for the 
sale of confectionary in the principal streets of the capital. His head- 
quarters are in the Prospekt. Compared to the Parisian houses, how- 
ever, they are small and lifeless, but furnished with taste and elegance, and 
provided with the best English, French, and German newspapers. 



211 



BOLSHOI PROSPEKT. 



One of the most pecuhar and handsomest streets in St. Petersburg is 
the Bolshoi Prospekt on Vassili Ostroff. It is very wide, and has gardens 
in front of all the houses on either side. The houses, tenanted mostly by 
German professors, academicians, and merchants, and by some Russians, 
are agreeably hidden behind the trees of the gardens. In the midst runs 
the broad road for carriages and equestrians, and an elevated trottoir of 
wood for the pedestrians. A footpath through the garden leads to the 
house door, but the principal entrance is in the courtyard, round which 
the dwelling-house is built, and at every second garden is a drive for car- 
riages to enter the said courtyard. In turning off from the main street 
into one of these courtyards we might fancy ourselves entering a detached 
farm-house, or a nobleman's seat. This peculiar and pretty arrangement 
is owing to the manner in which ^^ street was first laid out by Peter the 
Great. He had made broad canals on each side ; but as in time these 
canals^ were found inconvenient, they were filled up, and gardens planted 
in their stead. 



1 



MOSCOW. 



PLAN, STYLE OF BUILDING, STREETS. 



The assertion sometimes made, that no city is so irregularly built as 
Moscow, is in some respects true. None of the streets are straight ; houses, 
lar^e and small, private dwelHngs, public buildings, and churche^s are 
minded confusedly together ; but when, instead of looking at it in detail, 
we consider it as a whole, it must be admitted that few cities are more 
reo-ularly or more rationally built than Moscow. . , .„ t • u 

The original founders settled without doubt on the Kremlin hill, which 
naturally became the centre of the city at a later period. Nearest that 
fortified hill lay the Kitai Gorod (Chinese city), the oldest part of Moscow. 
Around both the Kremlin and Kitai Gorod, lies Beloi Gorod (white city), 
which is encircled by the Tver Boulevard, and the other Boulevards, form- 
ing together one street Round Beloi Gorod runs, in a like circular form, 
the Smelnoi Gorod, surrounded by the Garden-street, and by other streets 
which must be considered as continuations of it. These rings, forming 
the body of the city properly so called, are intersected by the Tverskaya, 
Dimituevka, and other streets radiating from the open f^aces round the 
Kremlin as the common centre. Nowhere is there a sufficient length ot 
street to form a perspective. The greater number of the streets wind like 
the paths of an English park, or like rivers meandenng through helds. 

\Ve always fancy ourselves coming to the end ; and in every i)art where 
tht ground is level, we appear to be in a small city. Fortunately the site 
of Moscow is in general hilly. The streets undulate continually, and thus 
offer from time to time points of view, whence the eye is able to range 
over the vast ocean of house-tops. .,1.1 e 

The Kremlin is best viewed from the south side, and from the bndge ot 
Moskva Rekoi. From the river that bathes its base, the hill of the Kremlin 
rises, picturesquely adorned with turf and shrubs. The buildings appear 
set in a rich frame of water, verdant fohage and snowy wall, the majestic 
column of Ivan Wilikoi rearing itself high above all, Uke the axis round 
which the whole moves. The colours are every where most lively,— red, 
white, ffreen, gold, and silver. Amidst the confusion of the numerous 
small, antique edifices, the Belshoi Dvorez (the large palace bmlt by 
Alexander), has an imposing aspect. It looks like one large mass of white 
rock, amidst a multitude of fragments. The churches and palaces stand on 
the plateau of the Kremlin as on a mighty salver ; the little red and gold 
castle church of the Czars, coquetting near the border like some pretty little 
maiden, and the paler coloured cuix)las of the Michaelis and Uspenski 



PLAN, STYLE OF BUILDING. STREETS. 



213 



churches representing the broad corpulence of a merchant's wife. The 
Maloi Dvorez (little palace), and the convent of the Miracle, draw modestly 
back, as beseems hermits and little people. All these buildings stand on 
the summit of the Kremlin like its crown, themselves again crowned with a 
multitude of cupolas, of which every church has at least five, and one has 
sixteen, glittering in gold and silver. The appearance of the whole is so 
picturesque and interesting, that a painter has only to make a faithful copy, 
in order to produce a most attractive picture, but I never saw one that did 
not fall far short of the original, certainly one of the most striking city views 
m Europe. 

The northern side of the Kremlin is the least attractive ; a plain high 
w^all with two gates separates it from Krasnoi Ploshtshad (the red place). 
The most adorned is the north-west side. Here in former times was the 
Swan lake. It is now drained, and its bed forms the site of the Alexander 
garden, which stretches from the M oskva to the giant wall of the Kremlin. 
On the northern side, a beautiful iron grating divides it from the road. 
ITie gpdens of the Kremlin are to Moscow, what those of the Tuileries 
are to Paris. In the midst of this garden, the beau-monde of Moscow pro- 
menade in the fine spring evenings. Nothing struck me more than the 
great anxiety of all to keep the middle path, which, as a sort of highway, 
was always crowded, while not a pair ever wandered to the side paths, as 
if every one dreaded to separate from his fellows. This habit pre-supposes 
a singular uniformity of taste in their society. At the foot of the wall, a 
number of artificial hills have been raised, where on holidays musicians are 
placed. These hills are hollowed out beneath and supported by pillars, and, 
on the benches with which they are provided, afford cool resting-places for 
the weary. 

1 he Tver Boulevards, surrounding the Beloi Gorod, are not unpleasing, 
though less agreeable than the Alexander garden. They are broad walks 
laid out with trees, shrubs, and parterres, far more rui-al and pleasing than 
the formal lime avenues of Berlin, and they will be much handsomer 
some time hence, for at present the plantations are very young. The dif- 
ferent boulevards round Beloi Gorod have an extent of seven versts, op 
about a German mile. 

Moscow, w^th its labyrinth of courts, shrubberies, and gardens, and with 
streets that nowhere take the direct business-like course, has throughout 
the character of a suburb or village. This is more particularly the case 
round Semlanol Gorod. The houses do not stand in straight rows Hke soldiers, 
nor are they all of similar height and dimensions ; one house will be 
large and magnificent, another small and paltry ; one is painted white, 
another green, a third yellow. One stands boldly forward, seeking notice, 
another retreats within its little garden or stately courtyard, in which 
coaches -and-four are constantly circling. A city, in one sense of the 
word, that is, an assemblage of human dwellings pressed closely together, 
till they seem as if hewn out of one rock, Moscow is not, excepting per- 
haps the square verst contained in the KremUn and Kitai Gorod. 

Tlie breadth of Garden-street and its continuations is imposing, and 
embraces the city in a circuit of nearly two German miles. In some parts, 
the houses are tmckly planted ; in others, the gardens lie in the middle of 
the road, with paths on either side. In some, the remains of the city-ditch 
are laid out in walks and flower-beds ; in othei*s, the slope of the wall is 
adorned in a similar manner. The road is sometimes up hill, sometimes 



214 



THE KREMLIN. 



THE KREMLIN. 



215 



down, passing through the bottom of a valley, or rising to a height that 
commands a view of the gold-crowned Kremlin and of the hmidred 
parishes of Moscow with their numerous churches. On the one side, 
roofs and cupolas gleam to the extreme verge of the horizon ; on the other, 
we behold the suburbs with their villas, meadows, and woods, and get an 
occasional glimpse beyond the encircling wall of earth over the wide un- 
cultivated " Black field," where the winds and powers of nature revel 
free and uncontrolled. On the road that divides the city from the suburbs, 
some markets are held ; the city and the environs meet here as on neutral 
ground to exchange commodities ; the former brings furniture, household 
utensils, porcelain, salt, &c. ; the latter, flour and garden produce. The 
streets radiating from the centre here pour forth their streams of life, and 
from the suburbs, country people press into the heart of the city. The 
weakest part of Moscow is its rivers. The two chief rivers are the Moskva 
and the Yausa. The fonner winds so much that it remains for nearly 
three miles within the limits of the city. Both are extremely shal- 
low. The Moskva is a meagre nymph, whose proportions become no 
fuller after she has swallowed up her sister the Yausa, which, in summer, 
drags heavily along its slimy bed. How different from the beautiful in- 
comparable Neva, with its constantly full bosom and smiling face, moving 
in inexhaustible abundance past its majestic granite quays ! The Moskva 
wants this girdle of quays, and its banks are everywhere in bad condition. 
Indirectly, however, these rivers yield the city its finest ornament, if we 
consider the trees in the moist green valleys, and the gardens on the hill 
side, as their work. Besides these, Moscow has some other small rivers, 
of which some, the Ruibenka, for example, begins and ends its course 
within her walls ; and the Neglinya and Tshetshoca do nearly the same. 
Ahhoughbut a few versts in length, tliese rivers, flowing through the 
<;lassic ground of so populous a city, have, in an historical as in a national- 
economic point of view, far more interest than many greater streams 
that pour their waters for hundreds of miles through a wilderness. 



THE KREMLIN. 

What the Acropohs was to Athens, and the Capitol to Rome, the 
Kremlin is to Moscow. The quarter of the Forum Romanum and the 
Mons Palatinus in Rome answer nearly to the Kremlin and Kitai Gorod in 
Moscow. Here, as there, the three chief powers of society have their 
seat, the pohtical, the spiritual, and the commercial. , . „ , 

The exterior similarity of Rome and Moscow may be followed out 
much farther while examining the position of their chief temples, their 
tribunals, moneychangers' shops, &c. In the Roman lonim stood the 
metal statue of the wolf-nurse of Romulus and Remus. In the torum of 
Moscow stands the monument of two men who preserved Moscow and 
Russia with their wealth and their lives, Minin and Posharskoi. Ihe 
Lacus Curtius, which was in after times diverted from its course, and then 
resembled a dry moat where the idle people of Rome used to sit, whence 
its name, Canalicola, finds a counterpart in the garden of Alexander, 
formed on the muddy bed of the Neglinya, and the little lake that com- 
municated with it. And I may add, tlhit in the Moscow Lacus Curtius, 
there is no want of idle people, or of the Venus vulgivaga. 



i! 



The most important gate of Moscow is beyond doubt the " Spass 
Vorota" (t;ie gate of the Redeemer). It is the porta sacra, and porta 
triumphalis of Moscow. Through it entered the triumphant wamors of 
Ivan Vassilievitsh after the conquest of Kasan and Astrakhan, and through 
those of MichaeHs and Alexis, after the victories obtained in the Ukraine. 
It is the Propylae of the Acropolis of Moscow. Over the gate is a picture 
of the Saviour, under a glass : this is the holiest part of the holy gate. 
Before the picture hangs a large ill-formed lamp, in a massive metal frame. 
All here is antique, even the manner in which the lamp is drawn up. It 
is suspended by a heavy chain, and under it, to wind it up, stands a com- 
plicated old machine, that jarred and rattled here in the time of Michael. 
A man stands here, whose sole business it is to wind it up. He has a 
table beside him with wax tapers, which he sells to light up before the 
picture. This picture is an object of the greatest reverence with the 
Russians, although few know what it represents. It hangs so high, and 
the colours are so much faded, that notwithstanding many efforts and much 
inquiry, 1 could not find out whether it represented the Redeemer in the 
act of teaching, or of praying, whether crowned with thorns, or suspended 
on the cross. 

This gate forms a passage under the surmoimtlng tower, of about 
twenty paces long. Before he enters, every one, be he what he may, 
Mohammedan, heathen, or Christian, must take off his hat, and keep it 
off till he have passed through to the other side. It is a singular sight, 
to watch the carriages-and-four, coming along at fuU speed, and slacken- 
ing their pace as they approach the sacred gate, while lord and lackey 
cross themselves reverently, and drive through hat in hand. Any one 
passing through and forgetting to uncover, is immediately reminded, nor 
would it be safe to neglect the warning. Some Germans told me that 
they had received manual instruction to that effect ; for my own part, 
when I once forgot to take off my hat, I was reminded of it merely by a 
gently murmured warning, *' Shlapa, shlapa batiushka" (The hat, the 
hat, father). 

The gate has naturally obtained its sacred reputation in the course of 
centuries, through many miracles wrought through its means. Often, as 
the people relate, the Tartars have been driven back from it ; miraculous 
clouds have veiled the defenders of the Kremhn who sought its shelter, 
while the pursuing Tartars w^ere unable to find the entrance. Even the 
presence of the temple-plundering French only served to increase the 
renown of tliis gate. They thought the frame of the picture was of gold, 
and endeavoured to remove it. But every ladder they planted broke m the 
middle, as the taper seller assured me, when he told the story. This en- 
raged the French, who then brought a cannon to batter down door 
and picture together ; but do what they would, the dry powder was pos- 
sessed by the devil of water, who was too much for the devil of fire, and 
woidd not explode. At last they made a great fire with coals over the 
touch -hole. The powder was now subdued, but it exploded the wrong 
way, blowing the cannon into a thousand pieces, and some of the French 
artillerymen into the bargain, while gate and picture remained unharmed. 
The French were now over-mastered by dread, and withdrew, acknow- 
ledging the miraculous power. It would be worth while to write the his- 
t«)iy of the campaign of 1812, under the dictation of a Russian of the 



216 



THE KREMLIN. 



lower class. What a romance of miracles would that period afford, so 
rich in wonders even in an unadorned narrative ! tt ^ t. 

The Nicholas ffate, although not so privileged as the Spass Vorota, has 
also a wonder-working picture ; that of St. Nicholas, over its entrance. It 
was near the entrance of this gate that Napoleon's powder waggons ex- 
ploded and destroyed a large part of the arsenal and other buildings. The 
Lte escaped with a rent wliich spht the tower m the middle, as far as the 
Lme of the picture, which stopped its farther progress. Not even the 
fflass of the picture, or that of the lamp suspended before it, was mjured^ 
So says the inscription on the gate, and the remarkable rent is eternalized 
by a stone differing from the rest in colour. j w. n 

All the ffates of the Kremlm are connected by a strong and lotty walJ, 
surrounding it in the fomi of a vast triangle with many towers. Witlnn 
this wall are contained all the most interesting and lustoricaUy important 
buildings of Moscow ; the holiest churches with the tombs of the ancient 
czars, patriarchs, and metropohtans ; the remains of the ancient palace of 
the czars, the new ones of the present emperor, celebrated convents, the 
arsenal, senate house, &c &c., and architectm-al memonak of eveiy 
period of Russian history, for every Russian monarch, from the remotest 
leZd down to the present ruler, have held it their duty to adorn the 

KremUn with some monument. _ « +1,^ 

The two most important remains of the old palaces of the czars are the 
Terema and the Granov-itaya Palata, the former containing the Gymnaceum, 
the latter the coronation hall of the czars. There^ corps delogts, the 
main body of the palace, was so much injured by the French that no resto^ 
ration w.-d possible. In its place a new palace was erected, called the 
Bolshoi Dvo^rez (great palace), or, from its builder, the Alexandejki Dvorez. 
The nxins of both the others are by the side of it, and connected with 1 by 
stairs and galleries. They were - na vossdukJf as our guide told us so 
desolated by the French, that door and window stood open to W and 
tmpest/' The coronation hall was restored long ago, and the Emperor 
Nicholas has repaired the Terema. . 

Terema, or Terem, is the name given in every Russian peasants house 
to the upp^r part of the building, roundwhich, sheltered by the projecting 
roof a balcony runs, and where the daughters and children of the house 
Tr^ Ic^id It may be easily imagined that the Terema plays no msigni- 
fi'X^rt in the love songs of the people; this part of the old pal^e of 
the czars is called pre-eminently the Terema. The architecture is the 
IVpecuL I everUember to' have seen : ^-nsists of £- s^^^^^^^^^ 
which the lowest is the largest, g^^ually diminis iing tdl^^^^^^^ S re' 
is so small as only to contain one room ; the whole, *^^^^^f ^^^^^^ 
spmblino. the lessening tubes of a telescope when drawn out. On the space 
hSby tl^^^r^^^^^^ of the upper story from the ceiling of the under, a 
balconV is W^^ with steps both within and without ascendmg from one 
tetre'to thither. Every terrace affords a most interestmg view of the 
™of o d and new buildings below, the Terema having nestled itself m 
the heart of the Kremlin. In the lowest floor, the throne and audience 
ctmbe^ of the old czars are shown ; the upper one was the dwelling of 
tt " ^as (princesses) and the children. All these rooms have been 
repaired in the old Russian taste. The stoves are very P^f ^ ^ J^^^' 

and all the plates of which they are composed ^-^f t^iatTemin^^^^^^^^ 
paintings. Tlie walls are covered with a kind of painting that reminds us 



THE BOLSIIOI AND MALOI DVOREZ. 



217 



of the gorgeous glories of the Alhambra. They display an extraordinary 
confusion of foliage, vine trellices, singularly imagined flowers, woven in 
arabesques, and painted with the gayest colours. On the painted branches 
are perched birds, yellow, blue, gold, and silver ; squirrels, mice, and other 
small animals ; on every bough hangs a load of costly fruit, and all sorts 
of knots and figures in gold are intertwined among them. Here and there 
are portraits of the czars, and other faces, armoiial bearings, houses in 
miniature, and what not. Originals for these fancies were found in old 
churches, but of course the work of the modem artists is much more ele- 
gant, richer, and better executed. From one of the terraces of the Terema, 
we enter the little church " Spassa solotoyu rishotkoyu" (the Redeemer be- 
hind the Golden Balustrade), which was also plundered by the Fj-ench, but 
re-endowed most magnificently with gold and silver vessels, by the Empe- 
rors Alexander and Nicholas. On the roof are twelve gilded cupolas, the 
size of chimneys, the sight of which may, in the days of childhood, have 
delighted many a future czar. 

The Granovitaya Palata is a singular Uttle building of a quadrangular or 
cubical form, hanging like a casket on the huge Bolshoi Dvorez. On the 
second story it contains nothing but the old coronation hall of the czars, 
and of the present emperor. The hall is low and vaulted, the arches imit- 
ing in the centre of the hall, where they rest upon a thick square column. 
The walls retain the crimson velvet hangings used at the coronation of the 
present emperor. The velvet is embroidered in gold, with eagles bearing 
thunderbolts and the initials of the emperor, placed alternately, and be- 
tween every eagle and initial stands a golden candalebra. The throne is 
placed under a velvet canopy opposite the entrance, and over the windows 
are the armorial bearings of the different governments of Russia. The 
pillar in the middle is divided by circular stages, on which the regalia are 
displayed on the day of coronation. Here the emperor sits enthroned 
after the ceremony in the cathedral, adorned for the first time with all the 
insignia of his dignity, and dines in the midst of his nobles. 



THE BOLSHOI AND MALOI DVOREZ. 

Moscow, by a kind of political fiction, is still considered as a capital, as 
well as St. Petersburg. In the Kremlin every thing is kept in constant 
readiness for the reception of the emperor, as if it were his usual re- 
sidence. 

If we consider the position of Moscow in the very heart of Russia, how 
the stream of active and commercial life rolling hither from the Black, 
Caspian, White, and Baltic seas, find their natural centre on the fair hills 
of the Moskwa ; how the whole acquires form and substance from this 
centre, and that the empire is in fact rather Moscovite than Russian, it 
will be evident that Moscow seems destined by Nature, as weU as by His- 
tory, to be the capital of Russia, and must one day again become so. The 
Russian emperors, to a certain extent, acknowledge this, by admitting the 
before-named fiction to continue. In official documents, Moscow is always 
designated " Stohntza'^ (chief city), and the inhabitants call it " nasha 
drevnaya stolnitzcC^ (our old capital) with evident satisfaction. " No 
foreigner can know what magic power these three words have over a 
Russian heart," said Professor S. once to me, as we drove out of Moscow, 



218 THE BOLSHOl AND MALOI DVOREZ. 

and he took leave of Ws native city .ith tea.. "> '"yf^d vet mo^f ^d 
that every Russian loved Moscow as much as /<. -I'd' fTly^\™°'!:j,^; 
that even those who had never «een ^clunj to the idea of the holy 
citv" ^-ith the same devotion as to "God and the Emperor We may 
comprehend then how important a place for Russia that city must be 
wS besides its 300,000 inhabitants, is also peculiarly the one to which 

™TLirerbUfhr^vX Emji Alexander and Nicholas upon 
the Kin are wo in nu4er : th/Great and the Small palace. The 
fL^^uilt by the Emperor Alexander, is very lofty compared to he 
k5:;'of the facade, but W whole effect is S-J' f ^ "^^^^f "^^^''^^ 
ba^f upwards. The interior is not very magmhcent. The walls are o 
brick the windows of ordinary glass ; the fiinuture is elegant, but not 
S^gly so ; the marble in tL%hrone and audience chambers is onl^ 

m tatiL"^ and the great looking-glasses are not single pu>ce. There i 
infinitelv more splendour in the houses of many of the mighty emperor s 
s?.Ktrnhere. Yet the paWe is not witUt interest; the exalted 
Son^wt hav^ nhabited it ilm-ing the twenty years o >ts existence a.^ 
?n Tw that their chambers remain in the same state m which they left 

hem and for e4^ new illustrious guest new apartments are prepared 
fcrtnnt who aUend strangers to view the palace announce the iormer 

1 tie sen ■""%''''"'' „ rf. • ; jj^g Stolovaya komnata (throne-room) 

TZ7r^V^:f^^^^^nA.r : diL 4 the va„naj4 komnata (bath room) o 
the Empress Mar a Feodorovna, and so forth of eve.y successive imperial 
tenant Thibomewhat monotonous; and the good people do not even 

7&rde numaux en Pastilles, faite par d Renault «/«'•«' .'''^*^ 

SS' love anS human tVtL makes a favourable impression on every 
r who enters They arJbeautiful drawings in sepia; copies of pictures 
one who «'««"•, r . „ot only a pure taste, but a feeling heart, 

(souvenirb) . a na . ^ ; ^ j, Moscovites to weep his loss ; and 

:°Setftr— Sh inSate the occupations of the emperor, .a rde^ 
Srad pencil, and Indian ^^^^^ :^^t-T^t:^i^^t::^ ^Z 
"t^ZL^^-:^^^^^^ a L'all looking-glass, make 

--t ^Sii^iS:;:" (little .^^^^^)^^^ Kt^^mf ^i^r^s 

there here any great magnificence displa)ed. mere aic i 



THE ORUSHEINAYA PALATA. 



219 



representing scenes from tlie Polish history. Here I saw, for the first time, 
how the PoUsh kings were crowned in the open air on the field of Vola, 
the solemn procession of the nohles, the throne placed on a carpet in the 
middle of the field around a bank of turf, within which sat the clergy and 
the nobles, awaiting the king, all with their swords by their sides. 

A picture by an untaught Russian subaltern ofiicer, representing Minin 
and Posharski in the field, is not without value as a work of art, and has an 
interest as a kind of sequel to the monument on the " Red place.'* In the 
latter, Minin is depicted rousing the prince to arms by his patriotic elo- 
quence ; in the former the two are shown victorious over the Poles. 

Nothing I saw here amazed me so much as the bed of the Emperor 
Nicholas, as it must every one who is accustomed to think of kings and 
emperors reposing on velvet and down. The Emperor Alexander slept on 
straw covered with leather, but it was loosely stuffed. The mattrass of the 
Emperor Nicholas, on which he hes without any other bed between, is 
stufled so hard and tightly, that there are certainly few peasants whose 
couch is ruder than their emperor's. A homily might be preached on it 
with good effect to some people. The bed stands in a room wholly 
unadorned, with bare white waUs. The Hbrary in the emperor's cabmet 
contains all the books that have been A\Titten about Moscow, in French, 
Russian, and German ; they are quite in their place here. 

In one of the rooms, under a glass cover, there were a nuniber of loaves 
which had been presented to the emperor on his various visits to ^Moscow. 
These loaves have the form and size of those used by the Russians at the 
sacrament, something of the figure of a cup and saucer reversed. On the 
top a seal is impressed by the priest ; and in partaking of the sacrament, a 
triangular piece is cut off and eaten. When the emperor comes to Moscow, 
the " Golova" (the chief) of the city comes, attended by some of the 
citizens, and brings a silver salver with a gold saltcellar and a loaf, which he 
presents to the emperor, requesting him to taste the " bread of Moscow." 
The emperor thanks him, breaks off a piece of the roll and eats it ; he then 
invites the Golova to eat his bread, that is a splendid dinner, at wliich the 
magistrate is presented to the empress and the imperial family. 



THE ORUSHEINAYA PALATA. 

The various buildings of the Kremlin he scattered in very picturesque 
disorder, so that there is nowhere space for a regularly formed open p ace 
among them. The most regular is the Senate Place, with the arsenal to 
the right, the Senate House to the left, and on the south side the Orus- 
heinaya Palata (the palace of arms). In this spot, fettered by their o^^^l 
weight, and condemned to eternal silence, lie prisoners from all parts ot 
Europe ; namely, the cannon with which the invading people of the west 
strewed the road of Smolensk in 1812. The cannon are ranged m long 
rows with small shields erected on staves to indicate to what nation they 
belonged ; as Pohsh cannon, so many ; VVestphalian, so many ;— the sight 
of these will hurt no one's feelings, as the state has ceased to exist. Dutch 
so many ; few MyTiheers wander as far as Moscow to be panied at the 
view. The Bavarian cannon are handsome, ncAv, and bright ; nor are 
Prussian wanting ; and of French there are enough to stock an arsenal, 
Tlie only nation of which no representatives are to be found here is the 



220 THE ORUSHEINAYA PALATA. 

English; I know not that Russia possesses anywhere an Englkh 

nX vestibde of the P/^- are ranged a„ort.erW^^ 

whole collection of busts of noble Poles ; t^^^ ^^^^^^^^^^ „e„t„ries, "finely 

quiet g-tlem- jnosUy of t^^^^^^^^^^^ , y,J. 

Sng po'raits to view the -galia in the ^^r Joo- 

The frowns are very advantageously P'^^-f ' ^*f °r^ of velvet em- 
an ell and a half in height, where they re^^ on ^ <=" J-^" f ,.^^^ ,„,,, 

broidered with.gold, under '^ f '"^f ^'j^^.f^^^^ery costly. The throne 
some are very mterestog, and the f ^^^ J^*f „f '^^^j ^Uted over with 
sent to Boris Godunoff, m 1606, is ^'''^saZ met>i\. In the gold, many 
^old, so that it has the ^ppearance of mass.ve meta >^^^ j 

Targe and beautiful turquo.ses are ^^''^^1^;^^^^^^ had a fine effect 

Tlfe throne o";-Jrtft1s"iowg^;randd"f loured ; that of Alexis 
when new and fresh, but it is now g.a> ^^^^ ^^^^^ ^^^ 

MiehaUovitsh is of massive ^^^^^^ ,,/''" fX it looks as if the church- 
his brother Ivan is the largest ^fjf^'' ^^^^^X.^ty had served for the 
stool of a counsellor in some old German mipenal ^^Y . ^^ ^^^ 

model. Behind the ^h-e {S - curtam an^^^^ , 

that supports the canopy, there is *' "P^"" » , ^^j ^^ j^em 

tositw'iren her brothers ^^--%Z%^:lZ,l,li,^rZverors are 
the answers she thought fi"mg. i he tn American pre- 

more tasteful, but scarcely more =0^% ban the chmr ^^^ ^^^^^^ 

sident ; simple ^''^irs o/ ant^^e form "nd^^^^^^^ ^ ^^^.^^ 

The Polish throne used by the present emperor 

here. , . „i„,_,i„npp I found none more interest- 

Sceptres and balls ^^« h«^%'" "^^'5 PoW, broken not metapho- 
ing than f^^ ^^^:^X'^ ^jl2^:^:,Z is a long greenish stone, set 
ncally only, but literaU) . » '«- g ,^g„ diagonaUy m the middle, 

in gold at the f-'^'^^l'^l'^^ ^^ "fought this so reiLrkable, that I 

tt^ STas S "^ ^^ -'^ --'^' '''[ "" 
hasard Men drole. . mterestine" than the litter 

• ^r*.^;jr"lelxn:"wXn%^^^ V-^-ire-ys 

in which Charles XII. vvas Dome patched and re- 

that it was shattered by.a ball buUt has bee 1,,^^^^.^,, ,„„^ 

paired, that no traces of injury are to be Be«i 
interesting if it had remained a * « «" ;'^^ f^^^ ,^ ,hown, mostly pre- 

In the last hall, most ^P'«^"'^"'. ™''R*'Sf of late imposed so many 
sents from Turkish sultans, on whom Ru,sm has ot P ^^ ^^^^ ^^ 

bridles and chains, that the idea may ^ave/^^g . ^j^^^ ^^^ 

returning the preset, s in kmd. » n j ^ ^^^ ^^^^^ ^^^^ ^^ 

precious stones, saddle, as well as bit ana ^ ^^j,„„j j.^^ 

I a large collection "^ ^^^ Sx f ^^^^^^^ in peace, for most 

LS'^d nSiXtS ml? Z clatter have been when those mass.v. 



THE MARKET-PLACES. 



221 



wheels rumbled along, and all that timber groaned and shrieked. Some 
of them had whole fir trees for their axles, and seemed destined to be 
dragged by the whole nation to bear their idols about from place to place. 
Another giant birth, or rather embryo, for. it never arrived at develop- 
ment, was the model of an enormous palace, designed to have been built 
on the Kremlin hill, by Catherine. Every thing, with the exception of 
some old chiu'ches, was to have been levelled with the ground, and one 
giant palace to replace them. Fortunately for the lovers of antiquity, and 
to the joy of all Russian patriots, the plan was, I know not why, never 
carried into execution. 

THE ARSENAL. 

The arsenal contains a magazine of weapons sufficient to arm a hundred 
thousand men. When I visited it, I foimd a non-commissioned officer 
busied in patching a flag of Peter the Great, which had lain here in a tat- 
tered condition since the year 1812. The spoils of Pugatsheff were the 
only antiquities 1 found here. This rebellious Cossack once terrified the 
Russian empire with cannon, at which Russian children would now laugh. 
They are nothing more than clumsy iron tubes, and the coarse seam of the 
joining is yet visible. The flag carried before this plunderer from the 
Caspian is worthy of the cannon. It is a coarse sackcloth, with a Ma- 
donna painted on it. This rag was fastened to a staff on which no more 
art was expended than on a hop -pole It probably possessed a kind of 
sanctity, for a breach in the centre was carefully repaired with an iron 
ring. In many corners of the arsenal the Polish eagle droops its pinions. 
The weapons are mostly of Tula manufacture. In a press are kept speci- 
mens of the muskets of other nations, EngUsh, French, and others, by 
which to test the advance of Russian skill. A Russian musket from Tula 
costs about eighteen francs, half as much as an EngHsh one at cost price 
in England itself, but they are very inferior to the English. They are 
apt to burst in a discharge. 

THE MARKET-PLACES. 

In Moscow there are of course markets in every comer of the city, but 
its chief commerce centres in Kitai Gorod, the centre of the whole, where 
stands the gostinnoi dvor (bazaar) and the Ryadi (rows of shops). 

The gostinnoi dvor of Moscow is, after that of the fair of Nisliney 
Novgorod, the largest in Russia. It is a colossal building of three stories; 
three rows of pillars and three rows of shops stand, one above another, 
connected together by countless passages and steps. Beneath is the 
greatest crowd, above, the greatest commerce. In these courts and gal- 
leries, from year's end to year's end, is the greatest standing warehouse of 
the empire, and a continual fair. Hither, from the Black Sea, streams all 
that the Levant can produce ; from the Baltic, the produce of Western 
Europe; from Siberia, what China and Tartary yield. Moscow is the 
centre of the whole interior traffic of Russia. Along the galleries long- 
bearded Russians and black-robed Persians, with their pointed sheepskin 
caps, were roaming about; silken-clad Bokharians rustled by, and Tartars 
and Greeks sat on the balustrades reckoning their gains. The gostinnoi 
dvor has magazines and shops for the most considerable merchants of 



; 



22.> TUK MARKKT- PLACES. 

Molow. who trade hove wholesale only, a.,d are more than nine hundred 

'■'Cn^.berofshopsin the Y^ZX^i:'^^^^^^'^^^^^ 
aU united under one common roof l^^^lX conTt^cted, th^t in The 
S^;•:rs:nX:%o;lVSw^rd:LeJand a^er the slightest 

^r;::dt rdiSX'ueveHheless, to ^^jd -.^^^^^^^^^^ -e^eW- 

ful character than the Moscow Ryad., "^^^Jf^'^/^^t they have, notwith- 

.erchants are -^ J'J^ Sl^^^^^ ^•l^<^"y 7"^" 

standmg their lust ot gani, ^ ^"1^ , ^ ^he Russians carry on their 
ing to the German and Engh,h "^-J^^: \^„ ,„a draught/, playing, 

business m the midst °f F'^y"'f;;f ^ "lt;te g always ready, and nearly as 
laughing and gossippuig The>r appe .^^ ^^^^ Jeustoiners, wnth every 
manv sellers ot eaiDies are w uc :„«1iir1ma- iilates and knives 

XnJ necessary for breakfast ready P-P^'^; ~ "^^ C„ ^^eir shops, 
andforks. xiey play at ball •" jhe «™ passages^^^^ .^ ^^^^^ IJ^^ 
making use of a grea leathern ^all fi»«d with a^r ^^^^^ ^^^^ 

foot. But the favourite game »^ "^"^^ ^/2 „f thJ Leet ; however, 
doors, in the shops and sometimes in ^^^^^'^^^ °^ . ^^^ ^^ ^-eU to 
they neither play for money, nor bet , they lo^e tneir i 

expose them to such danger. „i„„tifullv adorned with pictures of 

The whole range of shops are P'ent*|"y u"fo-e them, singing birds 
saints nailed to the beams ^l^h lamps burning before mem gg ^^ 
in cages, and whole ffights of ^geo^s,wl.ch ^ unde ^.^^^ ^^ ^^^^ 

the shops, and are chenshed and tea oy uie 

^'^- , ,. ■ ™„„„»-l Vipre as elsewhere in masses, not promis- 

The merchandise is aminge<l "ere as ei,ew ^^^ ^ 

cuouslv •. here a range "^ t^l^J^y ^S for7ct^^^^^^^^^^ saints.^ In this last 
a third for ornamental articles, a fourth tor 1 «» , trade is 

Lticle, as might be -Pt1r„iSeTfor everftace a^d ocLion ; for 
driven. Here are to be found I!'«'"f^Xnek^ffee-hoiises, and ships ; 

halls, bedchambei., <^^"-*>^.^i;„ C: laSndation for his'faith ; small 
big ones for the merchant who likes » »arge ^^^^^^ ^^^ 

oL for the palaces of t^^f^J^^V^g tCe! some copies of Roman 
curtains. I was surpnsed t°.f.tnrJ^U fs true by Russian artists, but 
catholic saints ; gloriously ''a^atured, it is true oy ^^^ 

honoured by the Russian traders as f^^ J'^* P^*"a to%ale, great silver 
pictures, all sorts of sacred utensils are here expo^ t ^b ^^ 

Lndlesticks, lamps of all sizes, ''"'.^f ' ^"".T^ „; placed on the heads 
objects to foreigners are ^jX^'jr^eit ^he church.. These 
of the enamoured pair when tney consisting of 

crowns are the stranges lookmg tl"°g^ *f /^^'^^ &e., which are hmig 
a multitude of silver leaves, flower, ears ot co_m cost-stars 

with everv thing that -n ^^ A-f.^^^^^i^^ things, 
of gilt foil, cut glass, talse stones a"" Moscow. Among them are 

There are now thirty booksellers -shops in Mo^cov^. g ^^ ^|^_ 

some that have a stock of not less than 100'0«0^~t^, ;, ^^id to have 
imoff and Shireinoff are the P^^P^'^ °"^^';^, ^^ only three bookseUers 
200,000 volumes m J;^*"P:ty"n 1808 fourT and in 1810 six. After 
of any consequence in the city, m lov 



THE MARKET-PLACES. 



223 



1812, however, whose flames appear to have exercised a wonderfiiUy stimu- 
lating effect on the minds of the Russians, the number of the venders of lite- 
rature increased rapidly to ten, then to twenty, and at last to thirty. Be- 
fore 1812 the annual average of speUing-books consumed m Moscow was 
10,000. Immediately after that memorable year, the number increased 
to 30 000, and in 1837, no less than 200,000 civd and ecclesiastical 

primers found customers. The Viedomosti, ^\^f\^^%i;^^'''l'''^l ^^ 
Moscow, that has now been pubhshed since 1761, had only 2000 suWbei^ 
before 1812. Immediately after that year the number rose to 6000, and 
the regular sale is now 12,000 copies. The taste for reading is greatly on the 
increase among the trading and lower classes. I often observed a group 
of merchants' servants sitting together, hstenmg to one who read aloud; 
nor were the books selected bad ones. Karamsm s Histori/ of Russia 
was one I often saw in their hands. 

The stranger wHl not look without interest at the shops of the money 
changers in these Ryadi. I do not believe that such quantites of gold 
and silver, as are seen on the insignificant tables of these changers, 
could be so safely exposed anywhere else. But m every country there 
axe certain things that seem to be sacred and unapproachable-here, they 
are the money tables. It is asserted that nothing is ever lost from theni, 
although the owners are by no means particularly watchful of then- tempt- 
ing wares. The shops are often left to take care of themselves and the 
changer, when a customer presents liimself, has perhaps to be caUed 
in from a ffossip with his neighbour. 

The shops of the dealers in wax-Hghts naturally occupy a great space 
here. The population of Moscow use at least three times as many tapers 
for their saints as the people of St. Petersburg ; and in the thousand 
churches of this city, many a hmidred weight of wax ^ ^^nsumed for 
pious purposes. The bees of the Ukraine and Lesser Russia ftimish 

the greater part of this commodity. , , . c ^lu ,v,«^«^ ^f 

A Hquids, such as beer, wine, &c., are excluded from the commerce of 
the Gostinnoi Dvor and the Ryadi ; also aU bulky articles, s^ch as hay 
and straw, and such things as must be had m all the comers of the city , 
bread, for example. In this commercial quarter, the dealers are exclu- 
Bively Russian, with here and there an Asiatic, but no West Europeans. 
For the wine drinkers there are the Cave Anglaise, and the Cave Fran9aise, 
but they oflfer nothing for particular observation, bemg m aU respects like 
those of St. Petersburg, except that the wines of Greece and the Crimea are 
also to be had. In St. Petersburg, Greek wme is seldom drunk, and 
Crimean not at all ; here they are much Uked ; the Santormo particularly, 
which may be had at a low price all over Russia. The Crimean wine- 
shops are generally estabHshments belonging to the proprietors ot the 

southern vineyards. , , , ^ ^ - j. c ^^ 

The fine West European wares, French books, and objects ot orna- 
ment and luxury, French and English cloths, and Swiss confectionanes, 
are to be found on the Kusnetzkoi-Most (Smiths bridge). All the 
inscriptions there announce something foreign, and recommend them- 
selves in the French language. In the print-shops it is easier to tind 
views of London, Paris, Calcutta, and New York, than of St. Peters- 
burff or Moscow. I asked in one for some Russian costumes, and 
was told they were expecting them from Paris. Many more pictures 
are manufactured at Moscow, than in St. Petersburg, but they consist 



224 TIIK SFXOND-nAKD MARKETS. 

exclusively of ba.1 imitations of originals if '^If J" Loȣ "j Pans^ U 

isincredibiwhatnumbe.ofcar^^^^^^^^^^ 

men and women, and other pictures, issue iroiu renresenta- 

of the interior. Moscow's original genius shows itself onlj in representa 

*'Ttl"f 'tlf W\n. the flower.marl.et of Moscow is held It 
is a reitition of what may be seen in spring in the hay -market of St 
PeteXrrbut much prettier. In Moscow it has the appearance of a 
Sla^ of which every house stands in its own garden. Huts of painted 
SX^ fill d withlerry-trees in blossom with roses of al l^ds and d 

:^\r^^aS ^se^cr^rir^^ ?%. S 3 

larger Kinas i i proves. A more agreeable stroll cannot be 

Ze wL ii the place only for the one day, who have no regular 
Shte, but carry Lout witf them h"v.se and ^en oj^^^- ;^«f- . 

rS show on some paHicul.^^^^^^^ 

£ Us X pScTandSt^gV S '^bich amounl, if the plant be 
a choice one, to several rubles. 



THE SECOND-HAND MARKETS. 

Tlu» markets for second-hand wares play a more important part in 
RiSd^^^h us, because much greater changes of fortune take place 
5.r tC in o^ more solid land. Employes are often displaced and 
SrwfsJtby change .their P>--;.-t:::ieT:: i^Ten fce/ja^e; 
Kx^Drr'^n E^'tbtpi^^^ of social life hL its 

Stnltng tK 11 of Kitai J in a b.a^ s^^et ex tend^g ^ 

^Twef :^tr ^mlVlirnThere'^^^^^^^^ 



TttE SECOND-HAND MARKET. 



225 



dozen maidservants or peasant-girls ; piling a tower of hats upon their 
heads, one upon another ; on one side, a huge bundle of lace is pinned, ou 
the other, some twenty ells of gaudy ribbons flutter in the breeze ; over 
their shoulders hang garments of every fashion for the last ten years, and 
shawls in as many strata as a dish of Livonian pancakes ; and beside these, 
they hang and roll round their bodies as many choice articles of clothing 
as can be hung and rolled together. Men may be seen equipped in like 
manner in masculine habiliments. 

But all dealers are not so richly provided ; individuals arc to be seen 
dragging about a soHtary old coat the whole day long, sounding its 
praises unweariedly ; one old man with a snow-wliite beard was lovingly 
clasping a large picture of some saint, who, he hoped, would favour him 
so far as to let him earn a dinner by exchanging him for money. 

Those who love to feel a nation's pulse or the bumps of its leading follies 
on its scull, should not fail to study the picture -booths. These remarkable 
productions of native fancy are of very old existence in Russia, and un- 
touched as yet by any European improvement, continue in the purest and 
most unadidterated Russian taste. All are more or less of a reUgious or 
rather a mythological nature. The most celebrated occurrences from the 
creation to the last new miracle of Voronesh, all so palpably depicted in 
red, yellow, and green, that the most stiff-necked infidel in the world 
must needs believe. It seemed to me as if the kingdom of the devil 
were much larger than that of the angels in these pictures ; for death, 
the devil, and his adjutant (Gospodin StrSptshik, as he is here generally 
called), were much oftener to be met with than seraphim and cherubim. 
The monsters of the Apocalypse, and the Babylonian, Assyrian, Macedo- 
nian and Roman empires, were very frequent. If these look odd enough 
in Greek, it may be imagined what effect they must produce when 
translated into the Russian of a Muscovite peasant. The original type 
may have come from Greece, and may be yet found on the walls of 
church and cloisters, whence they have been copied by the wood car\'ers, 
who have added some witticisms of their own. I saw, for example, in the 
Novospasski convent in Moscow, the four chief monarchies of the world 
with long coiled-up tails, and monstrous jaws filled with dragons* teeth, 
sitting together quite familiarly like so many house-spiders. 

Many of the pictures were not without wit. Among others I observed 
one on which was inscribed in great letters " Deneshnoi diavol" (the gold 
devil), which I purchased immediately for my collection of travelling 
souvenirs. The devil, painted purple, is hovering over the world ; from 
hand, foot, mouth, and nose, gold is falling in abundance, and golden 
ducats are creeping like vermin from under his hair. His adjutant (Gos- 
podin Strilptshik) rides behind him on a yellow monstrosity which he is 
flogging with Mercury's wand. On the ground, men are sprawling to 
catch the golden shower. A baker has fastened a thick rope round the 
devil, and is pulling the fiend to him. A shoemaker has a weak thread 
round the great toe of the tailed enemy, and will not, it may easily be 
seen, be able to do much with him. An hotel-keeper has heaped up his 
tuns and bairels, into which the gold runs in at one end and the wine out 
at the other ; yet thirstier than his guests, he holds up a glass to catch 
the gold that is falling sideways. A lady stands near in all her finery, 
and the whole abundance of Russian beauty, that is, with a thick ploster 
of red paint on each cheek, and an embotipouU that a beer tmi might 



226 



lukhmannoff's magazine. 



envy. A priest is standing with his foot on the stool of his pulpit, one 
hand held out in a preaching attitude, while the other is holding out his 
mitre to catch the fertilizing shower, the devil showering it down 
upon him with both liands. Close to the priest is a church vessel, with 
a mighty ray of gold streaming into it. The oddest fancy is the artist, 
on whose shoulders dance a couple of squirrels ; to his cap a multitude of 
butterflies are attached fluttering at the end of a thread, and his head- 
dress is also larded with pens and pencils. He stands afar oft*, where 
none of the gold shower reaches, and fires a pistol in the air. Apart from 
the turmoil sits, as a quiet observer, a little ape ; he has one hand raised as 
if preaching to the mob, none of whom heed him. The label appended 
I could not decipher. Such pictorial satires issue in abundance from 
every paltry attelier of Moscow. 



lukhmannoff's magazine. 

That little shabby-looking men have often plenty of money in their 
pockets was a fact I had already learned in St. Petersburg and elsewhere. 
I was therefore not surprised when in the wealthy possessor of this maga- 
zine, one of those known to all the great world of Russia for antiquities of 
the costliest kind, I saw a man in a little, old, green, threadbare coat, 
with a long white beard, who spoke no language but the Russian of the 
Moscovite peasant. In this language, however, he has much to say 
that is interesting. For fifty years he has had deahngs with half Russia ; 
at his door almost every Russian grandee of that period has knocked, 
and through his hands all the ducats of Moscow have passed more 

than once. 

In LukhmannofTs magazine costly rarities of every kind are to be 
found ; whole presses full of snuffboxes of the most curious workman- 
ship, some of them worth three, four, nay, as much as twelve thousand 
rubles ; small caskets containing, within a few cubic inches, the purchase 
of some square versts of land, and a toy made by command of Louis 
XIV. for the Dauphin. It is a srhall temple standing in a court and 
surrounded by a wall, the whole of solid gold. In this court are the 
figures of several animals, birds, elephants, <!tc., the bodies consisting of 
real pearls, in which some sport of nature had designed the torsoes of the 
animals, and the artist had added the legs and horns, and so on, in pure 
gold. The figures are fastened to the golden floor, andon the steps of the 
temple is the figure of a huntsman with his gun. This very fooUsh, un- 
childlike toy is a proof how little Louis knew of children. There cannot 
be the least doubt that the first Noah's ark from Numberg would have 
given the Dauphin far more pleasure than this fine golden temple of 
Diana, which nmst have cost an enormous sum. Lukhmannoff estimates 
it at fifty thousand rubles. 

He has also a collection of coins, from the first ruble of the olden time, 
which was simply a piece hacked off a bar of silver with a hatchet, to the 
newest and most elegant die ; and many of the now rare coins of the false 
Demetrius. I bought a copper "beard token" of Peter the Great. It is 
well known how desirous Peter was to rid his subjects of their beards, but 
he knew not how deeply rooted these beards were, and even he was obliged 
to give way in some measure. He took off the prohibition, therefore, 



CHURCHES. 



227 



and levied a tax of fifty-two kopeks per beard, and every man who paid 
iWeived a token in copper to "legitimate" the wearing of it to the 
poUce. It is moderately brge, encircled with a garland, and has the nn- 
E^n of a nose, a lip,W a long beard in the centre. On the reverse, 
the inscription " Denyi vsati" (beard-money paid). r , . r . 

* Z L&nnoff lid me tUhe had 1-^ Ae foundataon of ^ tae 

in the time of Catherine. Sixty years ago all hs P^'P^^y ^°°=^*^^^ 
few old clothes and boots. A good price paid for some enabled hun to 
extend wL dealings, and the tostep made in the path of gam render^ 
^verj su-ecding^o^e easier. In thosetimes of Pr?fi^^on -hen fevourrtes 
made their fortiies so easily in Cathenne's splendid court, and when the 
moverb " Lightly come, lightly go," was so admirably exemphEed, he 
?' Wght his^ shLp to 'dry lan¥ He told me that the fieUeness "^ hi. 
customis was often so excessive that many bought f«'"^^^^'-^der tl^ 
promise of sending for the articles the next morning, but that before ftat 
time thev had lost aU desire of possessmg then- toys, and paid considerable 
Es ZCm of their bargains'. Some of the articles would thus return 
to iL hands two or three tunes, by which he often gamed -ore *^*e 
things were worth ; in this way he became a capitahst, and his revenue is 
now estimated at four hundred thousand rubles. 



CHURCHES. 

The Christian religion and chm-ch architecture were brought &«?? Con- 
stantinople to Russif at about the same time. BoA became moMed^o^^^ 
a foreig^ soil and among so different a peop e ; and hence '^'o?^ *e R^ 
sian Greek church, and the Byzantine Russian architectmre. ISo country 
n the worid W few old churches as Russia, because formerW all were 
l^t of wood, and therefore soon feU into decay, or became tiie prey of 
tbTflames A few stone churches were buUt towards the latter end of the 
rn^ddkae^s and are still to be seen in Kieff, Moscow, and a few other 

afef So^h the most ----» .^f J^T^The^^^SVs" Tl^. 
tbev are excessivelv small, and incredibly dark. Ihe roots rise in nve 
SrvTupoT^ which sit on them like tiie breasts on the statue of Diana 
ffihesr Every cupola is surmomited by a tall gold cross restmg on a 
escent Tnd hi- about with all sorts of chains that fasten it to the cupok. 
wXut the e cupolas are painted of the gaudiest colom^s the palette 
In affo^, and are^often gild^ or silvered into the bargam From the«^ 
interior a deantic picture looks down, whose enormous ugliness is much 
^^terclSfted toLre than to assist devotion. It is generally the figiire 
S the Redeemer, the Virgin, or of John, and in the centre cupola is the 
Itured W of an old ^y-headed man, meant to represent the Father. 
CwIsT: "usually paSd fi-om top to bottom -* « qvu.-loofang 
saints and angels, all pretty much in the style of *« ffJ^-Jj^^^S 
Marv in the church of Marienberg in Russia, and the Roland ot Bremen. 
FoXatlly, tWare pretty weU faded, and it will hardly occur to any m 
fhe ^mk J centL to^restore them. The centre cupola is supported by 
Lpm^ so immoderately thick that they diminish the space of the 

^'k thIXrS'SShurches in Russia, there is at least no sc-ity of 
new oS The essential part in the new style is naturally copied from the 

Q 2 



228 



CHURCHES. 



CHURCHES. 



229 



old, and reduces itself to a square form ynth. a large cupola m the centre, 
and four smaller ones at the sides. The principal mnovation is a lavish 
use of columns, generally the ornamented Corinthian, with an enlargement 
of space and an increased number of windows. In the new churches, the 
chains with which the cupolas in the old ones are loaded, like hligree- 
work, are left out, but otherwise all are alike be-cupola'd, be-crossed, be- 
pillared in white, green and gold, from the Black Sea to the Baltic, and 
thence to the Pacific Ocean. The cupolas and towers of these churches 
are mere ornaments, and serve no other purpose, as our steeples do. Ihe 
custom of placing clocks in them is wholly unknown in Russia. 

The bells are not suspended in the cupola, but placed, in a side bmlding 
erected for the purpose— the Kolokolnik (the beU-bearer). In the country 
churches, where the land is rich in trees, the Kolokolnik is generally an old 
oak, on whose boughs the whole chime is suspended, as if the tree bore 
bells by way of fruit. In some places the bells are hung under a kind of 
triumphant arch, as in Novgorod, but bell-towers are more frequent. 
These towers are hung as full of bells as a palm-tree is full of cocoa-nuts : 
small, middle-sized, and of colossal dimensions, tinkhng, ringing, and bel- 
lowing. When such a Kolokolnik sets to work on a holiday, and gives its 
lungs fuU play, or when in a capital, twenty or thirty at a time begin 
their concert, heaven have mercy on the ears that are not dead to every 
sense of harmony ! It is a curious sight to see a Russian ringer begin his 
work. He does not put the bells themselves in motion ; indeed, they 
have no clapper. To every bell a moveable hammer is attached, and, from 
the hammers, strings are passed to the ringer. If he have only two to 
ring he sets down and pulls on either side alternately. But when he has 
many, he holds some in his hands, fastens another to his back, and sets 
others in motion with his legs. The motions he is obliged to make have 
a most comic efPect ; a former Czar found the business so diverting that 
he used generally to ring them himself in the court church. What renders 
this noise so disagreeable is, that the people never allow the sounds to sue- 
ceed in measured time, but hammer away, right and left, hke smiths upon 
an anvil; however, the bells are not, attuned to each other, but clash 
one against the other in fearful discord. The bell-founder's art is a very 
old one in Russia. Herodotus already speaks of great castings of metal as 
practised in the Scythian land. ^ 111 

In the north of Russia the severity of the climate has introduced the use 
of summer and winter churches. They are generally under one building, 
the summer church being placed above the winter one. The former is 
lofty, airy, and light in the upper or second story of the edifice : the latter 
is a low dark vault, in which Ught ar.d air are sparingly admitted. There 
are many of these double churches in St. Petersburg, and also m Moscow. 
In the new churches stoves are introduced instead, and the entrances pro- 
vided with double doors. When in addition to the warm air and the stoves 
we have the tick of a house-clock, these churches have quite the effect of 

sitting-rooms. . . , 

The space within the church, destined for the congregation, is separated 

from the sanctuary by the Ikonostas (picture-wall), so called because the 

side next the church is covered from top to bottom with pictures of saints. 



* Here and there the hours are struck by a watchman upon a bclL 
churches an ordinary house-clock is set up in the interior of the church. 



In some 



'^ 



I 



Before this waU runs a low gallery cutting off a ' slightly-elevated space 
which is ascended by a few steps. This species of anteroom is destined 
for the choir, which is placed at the side. In the midst of the sanctuary 
stands the altar. The objects placed on it are a large Bible often adorned 
with gold and precious stones, a cross of silver on which the Saviour is 
rarely represented, the Greek church, in general, not tolerating sculptured 
images, but on which angel heads or other ornaments are simply traced. 
This cross is also laid flat upon the table, standing crosses being never seen 
in the Greek churches. Between the Bible and the cross, the host is kept 
in a box, often of metal, in the form of a hill set thick with angels, and 
within a cave is a small silver coffin containing the host itself. In one 
comer of the sanctuary stands a table for the bread and wine, before it is 
carried in procession to the altar, for the transubstantiation ; and in the 
other a looking-glass, a comb, and other appendages of the toilet, for the 
use of the priests. Besides this looking-glass there is generally a room 
which, besides being appropriated to the priestly wardrobe, often contains 
many articles of g^eat value ; splendid mitres, crosiers, bibles, and other 
things, presents from various princes, besides a number of loose jewels used 
for the adornment of new robes. 

The whole ground on which a church stands is holy, but most particu- 
larly and for ever holy is the spot on which an altar has once rested ; not 
even a priest can unconsecrate it. Though the church vanish, no other 
building must arise there, nor must any human foot profane that spot. 
Should the church be burned or pulled do>vn, this place is carefully indicated. 
A stone is sunk with an inscription stating the name of the church and 
the manner of its disappearance ; round the stone a little wall is built, and 
the whole is roofed in. In laying out new plans for towns, these little 
monuments, which are on no account to be removed, are often sad stum- 
blingblocks, and sometimes lie very strangely and awkwardly in the road. 
It is difficult to decide on the exact numbers of the churches in Moscow, 
the accounts given differ so widely. While some speak of 1500, others 
reduce the number to 500, and others even to 260. Some reckon every 
chapel attached to the larger churches, those in private houses, convents, 
and those erected over graves, which might easily swell the number to 
thousands. Some people reckon the summer and winter churches sepa- 
rately, and others together. There are even some churches in Moscow 
which do in fact consist of several joined together, of which each has its 
own name and is quite apart from the rest. In this manner the church 
of the Protection of the Holy Virgin might be set down as twelve. 
Lastly, some of the convents have one chief church, and three, four, and 
even five supplementary churches, in each of which service is performed 
only once a year ; these are passed over in some estimates, and included 
in others. 

It is sufficient to say that the buildings in Moscow destined for divine 
service are countless. The most classic and holiest of all, the quintessence 
of the whole sacred mass, is within the inmost heart of Moscow, on the 
height of the Kremlin. This consecrated spot Sabornoi-Ploshtshad 
(Cathedral Place), has been surrounded by the Emperor Nicholas with a 
lofty and magnificent iron grating, and contains the church of the Czars* 
tombs ; the church with the tombs of the Patriarchs ; the cathedral where 
the coronation takes place; the church in the old palace of the Czars; 
the great John, the highest tower in the city of the Czars, and the chapel 



280 



CHURCHES. 



CHURCHES. 



231 



of Mary of the Cave. It is hard to say which of these is the most import- 
ant ; perhaps the preference belongs to the Uspenski Sabor (the Cathedral 
of the Resurrection), as the emperors are crowned in it, and the Patriarch 
formerly officiated there. 

The name of the cathedral leads a Western European to expect great 
spaces and lofty arches, in which the voice returns in echo, and the eye 
loses itself in the distance ; but these expectations will be fulfilled by no 
Russian cathedral. According to Russian taste, a church must be crowded 
with pictures and shrines, and thus, in this cathedral, eye and spirit are 
bewildered with the glitter of gold and the glare of colour. The whole 
church is gilt within ; even the heavy pillars that support the five cupolas 
are covered with gilding from top to bottom, and the walls the same, and 
on this golden ground large fresco paintings have been executed, the sub- 
jects taken from the Bible. The figures are gigantic, and distinguished by 
astonishing strength of grimace. They are said to have been painted by 
foreign artists at the command of the Czar Vassili Ivanovitsh, but they 
are right Russian as well as the church. The artist must have yielded to 
the national spirit. There is more gilding than gold in this church. The 
French seem to have distinguished the true metal from the false better 
here than in the castle chapel, where they left a quantity of gold, mistaking 
it for copper. The guide showed us a part of a pillar where he asserted 
the value of the metal removed had been calculated with a blacklead 
pencil, by Napoleon's own hand. As, however, it has all been painted 
over, and only a white place is now shown where the writing is said to 
have stood, it is not very easy to believe the story. 

The priests contrived, however, to have a pretty little salvage out of the 
shipwreck of 1812 ; among other things a Mount Sinai of pure ducat gold, 
a present from Prince Potemkin. On the summit stands a golden Moses, 
with a golden table of the law ; and within the mountain is a golden coffin 
to contain the host. It is said to weigh 120,000 ducats. A Bible, the 
gift of Natalia Narishkin, the mother of Peter the Great, is so large, and 
the cover so laden with gold and jewels, that it requires two strong men to 
carry it into the church. It is said to weigh 120 pounds. There is a 
gigantic deacon of this chiu-ch, who sometimes displays his strength by 
taking the whole burden, like a second St. Christopher, on his own pious 
and enormous shoulders. The emeralds on the cover are an inch long, and 
the whole binding cost 1,200,000 rubles, a sirni for which all the books in 
Moscow might be handsomely bound. The other remarkable objects in 
this church are, the great chestnut-colom*ed wooden throne-seat of Vladimir 
the Great, within a house of brass-work, which they told us was an imita- 
tion of the tomb of Christ ; and a miraculous picture of the Saviour, which 
daily performs miracles quite incredible, that are faithfully believed by 
every one here* " Within this month," said the priest who showed us 
the picture, " a merchant lame in both hands and feet was brought hither, 
and, after he had prayed fervently before this picture, he rose up healed and 
walked out of the door, which he had been carried through on his bed." 

The Arkhangelski Sabor (Church of the Archangel Michael), although 
dedicated to the bearer of the flaming sword, has such very diminutive 
windows that all the light of its jewels, and all the glitter of its gold and its 
shrines, are only sufficient very partially to enlighten its blackened walls. 
The star that shines the brightest in the night of this church is that^ of a 
little boy, on whose bier more blood has been shed and more sighs lavished 



than on that of any child in the world, and whose name, once so terrible in 
Russia, is now worshipped there. 

It is the last false Demetrius, who has long rested here, and enjoyed the 
homage of all Russia ; and as he now makes no claim to an earthly king- 
dom, he enjoys his share in the heavenly kingdom uncontested. Of course 
the Russians do not esteem him the false but the veritable Demetrius. 
The fact they adduce in proof of this is exactly what raises in others the 
greatest doubt. They say that after the body of the royal child had been 
in vain sought for in Uglitsh, where he was murdered by the emissaries of 
Boris Godunoff, it arose, coffin and all, from the ground, at God's command, 
and presented itself to the longing people, whereby its genuineness was so 
palpably manifested, that it would be absurd to express any doubt on the 

subject. . 

Be this as it may, the mummy of a boy of five or six years ot age, mag- 
nificently clad, is exposed on festivals in an open coffin. Every part is 
veiled but the forehead, which is kissed by his adorers. Above the coffin, 
the portrait of the little canonized prince is attached to a pillar set m a 
raised frame of the finest gold. Being \^ ell concealed it escaped the French 
in 1812. The events happened two hundred years ago, but they yet hve 
in as lively remembrance with the people, as if all had occurred but yester- 
day. While we strangers were standing with curious eyes before tiie 
picture, a fat merchant's wife on one side and an old peasant on the o^er 
came up to us, and began to relate the history of the holy child. The 
latter played the historian's part, and recounted the story of the murder tor 
our edification ; the former enlarged on the discovery ot the corpse and the 
value of the gold frame. Both were so zealous for our instruction, that 
what one omitted was supplied by the other, and frequently both talked 

away at the same time. .„ ^ , r .i. i x ir i, * ^<? 

How strong the affection the Russians still feel for this last offshoot ot 
the old Rurik dynasty, was lately testified by a gift made to the young 
martyr, by the inhabitants of Uglitsh, of a new silver podsvietshnik, a candle- 
stick as tall as an ordinary man, with a profiisely decorated pedestal and a 
thick flat top. On this top is a cavity in the centre for the reception ot a 
thick wax-candle, with a number of smaUer cavities around, for candles ot 
different dimensions, accordmg to pleasure. ^ . , r ui j 

A whole body must necessarily take precedence of a few drops ot blood. 
Hence a few drops of the veritable blood of John the Baptist, after he was 
beheaded, are little regarded, although set in gold, with diamond rays Hke 
the centre of a star. One would think that the blood of John the Baptist 
was immeasurably dearer to Christendom than that of this royal child ; 
but in Russia the Christian religion is every where overshadowed by the 
Russian, The pictures of Paul, Peter and the other apostles, are seldom 
found, either in the churches or private houses ; whereas, St. Vlmlumrs, 
Demetriuses, Nicholases, and Gregorys meet us hourly. Even the Saviour 
and Mary his mother must take a Gr3ek or Russian title before they enjoy 
meet reverence. The Iberian Boshia Mater, and she of Kasan, are qmte 
other godheads from the suffering Virgin Mary. ^ 

The Czars, down to Peter the Great (since whom the sovereigns have 
been buried in the fortress of Peter and Paul, at St. Petersburg), He here. 
Their portraits, as large as life, are painted. a//re5co round the waUs, each, 
wrapped in a white mantle, by his own tomb, as if watchmg it. T^ 
portraits are probably no more hke the ori^als than is that of the Re- 



CHURCHES. 



233 



232 



CHURCHES. 



deemer, with which St. Sergius blessed Demetrius Donskoi when he 
marched ag^st Memai, and which is also shovm here. They are aU evi- 
dently made after one pattern, and that no very choice one. The tombs 
are nothing better than heaps of brick whitened over. On the walls and 
cover of the sarcophagi are inscribed the names and paternal names of the 
Czars, the years of their birth and death, in the foUowing style :—" In the 
year of the world 7092, and in the year after Chnst 1584, m the month of 
March, on the 19th day, departed the orthodox and Chnst-lovmg Lord, 
the Lord Czar and Grand-Duke Feodor, the son of John, Ruler and General 
of all the Russians." While I was looking at them, one of the ecclesiastical 
oflficials, pointing to a small chapel near the altar, called out to me, " There 
lies the* Terrible,* and his murdered son." The young priest led me into 
the chapel of the " Terrible," and related word for word how Ivan had 
slain his own son with his fatal iron-pointed staff. It is said that this staff, 
with which in his tyrant fury Ivan pinned to the ground the foot of the 
unhappy messenger who brought the news of the Sheremetieff's having 
deserted to the Poles, leaning upon it while he read the letter, is to be seen 
in the armory of the Kremlin. Elsewhere I asked in vain about this 
story ; the 'answer was, " We know nothing of the weapon nor of the 
deed," while in the church no secret was made of the fact. This " ortho- 
dox and Christ-loving Czar and Father Jonas,'] (the name Ivan assumed, 
when, in his last hour, according to his pious wish, the monks had arrayed 
him in his robes,) now lies by his slaughtered son, as if nothing but love 
and tenderness had ever existed between them. i t »♦ 

I was very sorry that my young guide to the grave of " Father Jonas 
had not been with me before, as I found in him a most original specimen 
of the Russian clergy ; he seemed mightily rejoiced to have found in me 
his equal as he thought, i. e., a learned man. He made me acquainted 
with his whole curriculum vitcB ; where he had studied, and how he might 
hope to rise from Diatschok to Diakon, to Pope, and Protopope. He 
insisted upon speaking Latin, although he heard that I spoke Russian. 
When he heard the name of my native city, he knew that it had a repub- 
lican constitution, and he also showed that he could distinguish gold from 
silver and wood from iron ; for as he showed me the pictures of the saints, 
he said half in Russian and half in Latin " etto aurum, etto argentum, etto 
ferreum. etto ligneumr To this acquaintance with a Russian classical 
scholar, I owed that of the chapel of the Shuiski, which I should probably 
have missed otherw ise. " Dicas mihi rogo;' I said, " uhi famosa familia 
ShuiscOTum quiescat? Enraptured with my learning, he ran off with 
the speed of one possessed, and came back directly with a great bunch of 
keys " Ibi, domine, claustra tibi apporto pro Shuiscorum ecclesia, qum 
non multam ab hie distatr On my turning the wrong way, however, he 
broke out immediately mto his Russian patois " Niets ! des ! sdes ss (Here ! 

here sir ) 

The emperors, who from private individuals have sat by usurpation on 
the Russian throne, are, Boris Godunoff, Vassili Shuiski, and the false 
Demetrius. In the cathedral of the Archangel Michael only the le^- 
timate Czars, bom in the purple, and of the race of Runk or Romanoft, 
find rest. The three usurpers are excluded. Rons Godunoff was buned 
here, but his body was cast out by the false Demetrius, and lay for a time 
imburied in the Cathedral Place, till it was removed by the monks, whose 
friend and benefactor he had been, and placed in a chapel ; whence it was 






removed to the church of the Trinity, where it now rests. The second 
usurper met a worse fate. His bodjr was burnt, and the ashes thrown to 
all the four wmds of heaven. Shmski, who had a better right than the 
other two, was less hardly dealt by ; he was not indeed admitted into the 
church, but in a Httle chapel attached to it he has found a restmg-place. 
In the 'inscription on his tomb he is styled Kntls and Czar ; but not Veh- 
koi Rnas or Grand Duke. His exploits against the Poles are mentioned 
perhaps to excuse the admittance of a usurper into the sacred ground of 
the church of the Archangel. His portrait is here also ; evidently a very 
old picture, and probably a real portrait. .,,,,, 

The French, as we say in Germany, left a "large ham m pickle here 
on the Kremlin. The ravages exercised on the most honoured sanctuary 
of the Russians, are yet fresh in the memory of all. The priests repeated 
to me with deep emotion the story of the French stabbing their horses m 
the church of the Annunciation, and people from the provinces never hear 
this without shuddering, or swearing eternal hatred to them in conse- 
quence. 1 1 T-« T- I'J J* 

With the greatest good-will in the world, the French did not dis- 
cover all the gold there. A rent was made with hammer and tongs in 
the frame of the Virgin of the Don, which is of pure gold, but they were 
smitten with blindness, and rejected it as copper. The priests would not 
allow the rent to be repaired, and show it triumphantly to strangers as a 
proof of the miracle. The golden cross that graces the centre cupola also 
escaped. The French had heard of a massive golden cross in one of the 
churches of the Kremhn, and supposed the great far-off ghttering cross of 
the " Great Ivan" to be the right one. Napoleon caused it to be taken 
down, and convinced himself that it was made of wood, covered with 
copper gilt ; while the real golden cross remained safely among his three 

mock brethren. r i_ t> 

Thus the French twice exposed themselves to the ridicule of the Rus- 
sians ; once by rejecting gold as copper, and once by carrying off copper 

for gold. 1 • V f n 

The floor of the church of the Annunciation is paved with stones of all 
sizes and shapes ; but the stones are all semi-precious, jaspar, agate, and 
cornelians from Siberia. The royal seat of the Czars is of wood, covered 
with silver gilt, shaped like a sugar-basin, with a cover to match. 

This little church is rich in relics of all the saints -in the calendar. They 
lie in different little divisions in glass cases ; a bone for every day m the 
year, but the cases are no longer covered with glass. The priests said 
that this glass caused too great an expense to the convent, none having 
yet been found that united the necessary transparency with sufficient 
strength ; the throng of kissers was always so great on hoUdays, that the 
glass was broken every time, that they might bring their warm lips into 
contact with the sacred bones. 

The most remarkable object in this church is the fresco painting on the 
wall. This is so singular in its kind, that a cool Lutheran temperament 
knows not how to take it. Here all the good and evil spirits seem 
assembled. From every cupola the thin faces of the Russian martyrs look 
down upon the space below. GoHah, Samson, Abraham sacrificing hia 
son, the Jewish prophets and Christian apostles, are all jumbled promis- 
cuously together, with the eagle, which is bringing the quills to John, the 
swine possessed by the xmclean spirits and plunging into the sea, the 



U^ 



234 



CHURCHES. 



monstrous fish wMcli finds out Jonas m the midst of aU this turmoil and 
swallows him, and the four great monarchies represented with serpents 
tails and dragons' teeth. But all these must strike their flag to the evil 
one himself, who stands to the left, lord of the infernal rahble-rout, as he 
Hves and moves in his own kingdom, breatliing flame and smoke, with an 
infernal spear in his hand, horned, hoofed, and tailed, as if the pamt^ ot 
Alexis or Ivan had taken a portrait of Zamiel in the Freischutz Ihis 
picture is quite incomprehensible to me, for of all tilings one would least 
expect to find the devil among aU these holy pictures and rehcs. However, 
we must not be too hasty in what we deduce therefrom concerning the 
Russian character. On the whole I beheve the devil plays no more im- 
portant part with them than in our protestant bare white churches ; nor is 
any greater power attributed to him by the Russians than is allowed hmi 
in many evangelical congregrations of our fatherland. 

Behind the coronation cathedral stands the house formerly belonging to 
the patriarchs of Moscow, now caUed the Synodalni Dom, because a sec- 
tion of the Russian Holy Synod has its offices here. It contains also the 
library of the patriarchs, their treasury, and their wardrobe ; and m the 
church belonging to it is preserved the "mtr," the holy od that is used 
in baptizing all the children in Russia. , . ,,. j • ^i. 

The old books are kept in glass presses in the church itself; and in the 
middle, round the pillar that sustains the vaulted roof, the vesse s used in 
preparing and preserving the oil are ranged on semi -circular shelves. 1 he 
priest crosses, with a small camel-hair pencil dipped m the oil, the mouth, 
eyes, ears, hands, and feet; the eves that the child may only see good, the 
ears that they may only admit Avhat is good, the mouth that he may speak 
as beseems a Christian, the hands; that he may do no wrong, the teet 
that they may tread in the path of the just. 

The holy oil, the mir, which is to answer all these difficult demands, 13 
of course no common oil. The finest Florence oil is used, mingled w^ith a 
number of essences, the quantity and quality of which are stnctlv defined, 
but the soul of the mixture are some drops from the od-flask of the woman 
who washed the feet of the Saviour. 1 n ^i. 

Two ™at silver kettles, the gift of Catherine II., are used for the pre- 
paration Four weeks elapse before the mass is perfectly mingled before 
the due number of prayers have been absorbed m it, and before, amid pious 
psalmody, every drop has been refined and signed with the cross. From 
the kettles, the oil is poured into silver jars thirty in number, the gift of 
the Emperor Pad. These are sealed with the seal of the Synod, and 
placed on the stages round the central piUar ^ the church. The quantity 
We at once, about 20 vedros,* supplies all Russia for a year and a half 
or two years. Every bishop either comes himself or sends a confidential 
person to Moscow, to fetch a supply for his diocese, and receives it from 
the metropolitan sealed with the seal of the synod. The cost of the who e 
is about 5000 rubles. Every thing employed m the operation is silver, as 
well as the kettles and the jaxs to keep it m, the sieve for strammg, the 

^Tm^ong tf;S^<^f '^ooV. there are a nuniber of rare Bibles in dif- 
ferent languages, so inestimably precious, that they are always kept under 
iTand k^, and shown to no one. Thus, in time, they will be eaten by the 



PAKROSKI SABOR. 



235 



' 



\ 



A vedro is equal to about three gallons and a quarter. 



worms without any person being the wiser The four gospels, transmbed 
by the daughter o^ kichael, and sister of Alexis, are s];o^ h^^e- Every 
ZL is ea^fidly and beautifully painted. We shall hardly find m Germany 
s^ a monument of pious industry of so recent a date (160 years). 

Li thTchambei-s of the patriarchal palace, the name of ^.kon wa^ re- 
peated continuaUy. Nikon was an artful ambitious man, who wore the 
P^^re of the patLch when the crown of the Czars rested on the head of 
Tfl^-bodied, feeble-minded, indolent prince, Alexis Michaelovitsh. The 
ktter was the friend of Nikon, because he was too weak to be his enemy ; 
anlformany years the crosier was mightier than the sceptre m Russia^ 
N Ws creL was at the highest after the conquest of the Ukraine wkch 
wasl fact his work. After its completion, Nikon did a. he hked in the 
rnTn re and Alexis did all Nikon wisW A conspira^^of the nobles at 
Ks't Wmihe favour of the prince, deprived him 0/ his employments, 
3 drove him into the Bielosei4 convent, where he had begun his career 

" Hi'l^t— are now tenanted by the priest who showed us the 
rarities They can scarcely be quite insignificant, smce they were found 
W enough L the man who i^ed one kingdom and conquered another, 
yet an insi|nificant pope complained of want of room m them. 

PAKROSKI SABOR, 
THE CHUBCH OP THE PROTECTION OP MART. 

Ivan IV.. called by the Russians " the Terrible," was certainly one of 
the most original monsters that ever walked the earth m the human form, 
in thTTerema, in the highest room, which rears it-etf into the ajr like au 
ealVnest, where he passed his youth, he practised his hand by tortur- 
Wa^mals Of all the incredible deeds that are related of his tyran^ 
th! most extraordinary is his putting out the eyes of the architect of the 
chtJch which he built in gratitude to God for the conquest of Kasan. The 
Swrdelighted when this pearl and crown of all chm:ches was finished 
He ran aboutV building in Captures, examined e-ry part and dec W 
Sat the architect had met his views completely. He had him called be- 
fore him, pronounced a warm panegyric on the work, embraced him m 
Sfulne^ss, and then ordered the man's eyes to be put out, that he 
mS never buUd such another. One would expect that a budding which 
rnraptured such an original as Ivan, must be something extraordinary if 
not Ee nor will any one be disappointed who enters it with this ex- 
^ctltior The ground on which it is built is extremely unequal It 
S cLe to the^declivity with which the "Red Place; ends towards the 
Moskwa, not boldly at the point, however, but cowenng hke a beggar- 
womanrhalf-hidden, with one leg drawn up, and the other hang^g down. 
On one side, the inequality is assisted by an artificial terrace, with a steep 
slope towards the Basaar ; on the other, where that has not been done, the 
waE hang over the descent. On so perversely arranged a site, despising 
r vety fin! one somewhat farther up, rises the church with its twenty 
towe^, large and small cupolas and roofs, the whole strangely con&sed 
mils fbrmhig one of the most singular objects m the world Something 
similar may ^ seen when the clouds after a storm, are heaped aromid and 



236 



PAKROSKI SABOR. 



IVERSKAYA BOSHIA MATER. 



237 



all the seven classes of Gothe are lying one upon another. Dr. Schnitz- 
ler, in order to give us an idea of tliis church beforehand, took us into a 
cave of stalactites, and desired us to look at the formation. Or we might 
ascend some volcanic mountain with Humboldt, and look for the original 
of the Pakroski church amid the shattered points and extinct craters. The 
boiling crater in which the original was securely lodged, has long been 
silent. That crater was the head of Ivan the Terrible, wherein the skilful 
architect discovered his model, and made it manifest in wood and stone. 

Every one of the towers of this church differs from the other in size and 
proportion, in shape and ornament. The whole is far from forming a 
whole ; no main building is discoverable in this architectural maze ; in 
every one of these hollow irregularities lurks a separate church, in every 
excrescence a chapel ; or they may be likened to chimneys expanded to 
temples. One of the towers stands forth prominently amid the confusion, 
yet it is not in the centre, for there is in fact neither centre nor side, 
neither beginning nor end ; it is all here and there. Strictly speaking, 
what I have just called a tower is no tower at all, but a church and the 
chief one in the knot of churches ; the Church of the Protection of Holy 
Mary, properly so called. This tower, 150 feet in height, is quite hollow 
within, having no division of any kind, and lessening by degrees to the 
summit, from whose small cupola the portrait of the " protecting Mother 
Mary" looks do^vn as if from heaven. This tower or church sits as it were 
upon the neck of another, hollowed out beneath it like the passage of a 
mine, from whose sides a number of chapels are sprouting : Palm Sunday 
Chapel, the Chapel of the three Patriarchs, of Alexander Svirskoi, and 
whatever else their names may be. Service is performed in these one day 
in the year only, all the rest of the time they are closed. The greater part 
are so filled up with sacred utensils and objects of adoration that there is 
hardly any room left for the pious who come to pray. Some have a khid of 
cupola that looks exactly hke a turban, as if they were so many Turks' 
heads, from which Ivan had scooped the Mohammedan brains, and suppUed 
their place with Christian furniture. Some of the stones of the cupolas are 
cut.on the sides, others not ; some are three-sided, some four-sided ; the sides 
are sometimes smooth ; some are ribbed, .or fluted ; some of the flutes are 
perpendicular, and some wind in spiral lines round the cupola. To render 
the kaleidoscope appearance yet more perfect, every rib and every side is 
painted of a different colour. Those neither cut in sides, nor nbbed, are 
scaled with little smooth, glazed, and painted bricks ; and, when these scales 
are closely examined, they even are seen to differ from one another ; some 
are oval, others cut like leaves. The greater part of the cupola-cro^^'ned 
towers have a round body, but not all ; there are six-sided and eight- 
sided towers. In short, when from one of the upper galleries we look down 
on all the jagged and pointed confusion, we are inclined to believe we are 
eazing on a field of giant tliistles, some half and some fully blown, that 
have sprung from- antediluvian seed, and been changed to stone by the 

stroke of an enchanter. 

To the lower churches the entrances are on the ground-floor, l^etween 
these entrances, from remote times, wax-taper seUers have established them- 
selves, and there they display their ^ded and many-coloured wares. 
From one comer we ascend to the upper churches, by a broad covered 
flight of steps, wliich beside a multitude of dead fir-trees is beset day and 
night with the living ones, customary in such places ; namely, by hungry 



beggars who look to be fed by the devout. These steps lead to a gallery 
or landing-place which branches off right and left to a labyrinth of pas- 
sages leading to the separate doors of the temple on the roof. These pas- 
sages are so narrow and winding, that it costs many a painful effort to 
work one's way through. In some parts they are convenient enough, and 
even expand into spacious terraces. Where they lead outwards they are of 
course covered, and their roofs are supported by pillars of different forms 
and sizes. Whole flocks of half-wild pigeons that build their nests here, 
are constantly flying in and out. Imagine then all these points and pin- 
nacles surmounted by crescents, and by very profusely-carved crosses, 
fancifully wreathed with gilded chains ; imagine further, with how many 
various patterns of arabesques, every wall and passage is painted ; how 
from painted flower-pots, gigantic thistles, flowers and shrubs spring forth, 
vary into vine-wreaths, wind and twist further till they end in simple 
lines and knots ; imagine the now somewhat faded colours, red, blue, green, 
gold, silver, all fresh and gaudy, and you may in some degree comprehend 
how these buildings must have delighted the eye of so original a tyrant as 
Ivan the Terrible. 

" I know not whether it be beautiftd in your opinion, but we think it 
very beautiful ; it is so rich, bold and magnificent, it is so distinguished, so 
various, and so ornamented," said the Russian pope, who was my guide ; 
and thereupon he fell to pi-onouncing a panegyric on the church and its 
arcliitect, such as Ivan himself may have pronounced before he put out the 
architect's eyes. 

IVERSKAYA BOSHIA MATER, 

THE CHAPEL OP THE IBERIAN MOTHER OF GOD. 

At the foot of the hill ascending to the " Red Place," and by the '' Sunday 
gate" ( Vosskressenskaya Vorota), the most frequented entrance of Moscow, 
the good " Iberian Mother" has posted herself directly before the massive 
pillar that divides the double gateway, with her front turned towards 
Beloi-Gorod. 

Among the Iberians, whose country, the modern Georgia, gave birth to 
this Iverskaya Mater, her fame was cherished, and became great under the 
care of the Georgian priests. After passing her childhood in the deep 
valley of the Kur, she took shipping and followed the fleet of the Argo- 
nauts to Mount Afonsk (Athos), to which she took a great fancy. Who 
built the ship, or who steered it, whether it was Queen Tamara* or any 
other royal personage, the Russian monks do not know, nor how long she 
made her abode in the cloister, which the Georgians founded on the 
mountain. From Mount Athos her reputation for miraculous powers spread 
so far, that the Russian Czar Alexis Michaelovitsh invited her to Moscow, 
and fixed her abode by the Vosskressensk Gate. 

Since then, in defiance of the rude climate, she has never ceased to carry 
on her Christian labours ; she enjoys the greatest reputation not* only in 
Russia, but throughout oriental Christendom — Armenians, Bulgarians, 
Walachians and Greeks bow down before her. " Yes, I believe even the 
Lutherans pray here," said the little monk with whom I stood gossiping 

* A female sovereign of Georgia, who converted a great number of the inhabitants 
of that country to Christianity. 



238 IVERSKAYA BOSHIA MATER. 

one evening after he had extinguished the lights in the chapel : « VsdkM 
narod vs^oi narod!" (Every people, every people pray here !) I was weU 
nleased to so rummaging about with those worthy and tolerant tolks, 
Kufvef that eve.? L Lutherans prayed, because they themsdv^s 
(the Russians) always make the sign of the cross on passing a Lutheran 
cWh. I carried a look for them, held the ladder for them sometimes -^«» 
they were stowing away their curiosities, and reached up the candles, 
ser^ces which they rea-^y received, bestowing upon me much good m- 

^trlbrS nestling-place of the "Iberian Mother" consisU of 
one undivided area. She herself, however, is m a kmd of .sanctuary 
hollowed out at the further end. The immediate space m front is adorned 
with many pictures of saints, and fiUed with silver candlesticks, and other 
flittering ware. She sits in the half-darkened background, in the midst 
of cold and pearls. Like all Russian saints, she has a dark-brown 
almost black complexion. Romid her head she has a net made °f rea 
pearls. On one shoulder a large jewel is fastened, «l'fd'l'"g^^>>';^»''-"f;' 
Cund, as if a butterfly had settled there. Such another butterfly rests 
on her brow, above wlilch glitters a brilUant crown. In one corner of 
the Sure, on a silver plate, is inscribed, ', m4")p e.oO TS.vl».(,.v. Around 
£ 'picture' are gold breaded hangings, to which angels' hea,^, pam^d 
on porcelain with silver wings, are sewn : the whole is hghted up by tlnr 
teen silver lamps. Beside the picture there are a number of «lrawe>:s ^on- 
taininff wax tapers, and books having reference to her history. Her hand 
anSZ foot ofVe child are covered with dirt from the abundant Kissing ; 
it sits like a crust in little raised points, so that long since it has not been 
ha d and foot that have been kissed, but the concrete breadi of pons lips 
The doors of the chapel stand open the whole day, and aU are admitted 
wo are in sorrow, and heavy laden; and this includes here, as every 
where dse, a considerable number. I often beheld with astonishment the 
itTtudes that streamed in, testifying the inordinate power which tins 
Iture exercUes over their minds None ever pass, however pressing their 
Liness, without bowing and orossiiig themselves. The greater part enter 
kneel devoutly down before "the Mother," and nray with fervent sighs. 
Here come the peasants early in the morning Wore going to market; 
Sev lav aside their burdens, pray a while, and then go their way. Hither 
comerthe merchant on the eve of a new speculation, to ask the assistance 
ofTe aiTs hovering round "the Mother." Hither come the healthy 
Tnd the Ik, the wealfhy, and those who would ^eeome so ; *e an-wm^^ 
and the departinff traveller, the fortunate and the unfortunate, the noble 
> tnd he beggar. ^All pray, thank, supplicate, sigh, laud, and pour out their 
hearts befor^e "the Mother." There is really somethmg touohmg in 
SS the most sumptuously-clad ladies, glittering with jewels, leave then, 
rolendid equipages and gallant attendants, and prostrate themselves in 
t dult with'the beggars^ On a holiday I once counted two hundred 
pLinT pilgrims, kfeelingdown before " the berian Mother ;" and 
Tougft lil astonishment of the importance of thb little spot of gromid 
Since Alexis, the Czars have never failed to visit it frequently. The pre 
sent emp^o never omits to do so, when he comes to Moscow. It is said 
that iXs come more than once in the middle of the night, and wakened 
the monks, in order that he might perform his devotions. 

The picture b also, if desired, earned to the houses of Sick persons. 



THE MOSQUE. 



239 






fi Si' 



For this purpose, a carriage with four horses is kept constantly ready, in 
which it is transported with pomp ; not the real picture, but a copy that 
hangs in the fore-chapel ; — at least so said the attendants at the chapel ; 
but others contradicted it, and said that the copy remained behind for 
passing worshippers, and the original was carried to the sick. The visit 
costs five rubles, and a volimtary present is usually made to the monks. 

I had almost forgotten to mention the principal thing ; namely, that 
there is a very little scratch in the right cheek, that distils blood. This 
wound was inflicted, nobody knows when or how, by Turks or Circassians, 
and exactly this it is by which the miraculous powers of the pictiu-e were 
proved ; for scarcely had the steel pierced the canvass, than the blood 
trickled from the painted cheek. In every copy the painter has repre- 
sented tliis wound, with a few deUcate drops of blood. As I was speaking 
of this and other miracles to a monk, he made, to my imprudent question, 
whether miracles were now daily wrought by it, the really prudent reply, 
" Why, yes, if it be God's pleasure, and when there is faith ; for it is 
written in the Bible, that faith alone blesses." 



THE MOSQUE. 

On the other side of the stone bridge, going towards the Tartar-street, 
we reach a portion of the city where the houses are particularly small and 
low, and the courts and gardens all the larger. In this quarter stands 
the small place of worship erected by the Mohammedans in Moscow. 

As we found every place fastened when we visited it, we went first to 
the court of the Mollah who lives in the neighboiu-hood. Here we found 
as many vehicles and horses as in an inn-yard. The Tartars here, as in 
St. Petersburg, where they are so frequently employed as coachmen, are 
almost aU of them charioteers of some kind. Driving seems to be their 
only business. In the court a number of little shavelings were playing 
about ; for these people shave the heads even of children of three and four 
years old, leaving them as bald as dead skuUs, at an age when with us 
they appear adorned with a beautiful profusion of curls. The dwelling 
appointed by the Mohammedans of Moscow for their chief, sufficiently in- 
dicated their poverty, of which the Mollah complained bitterly. 

" There is no public spirit in the body," said he, " for there are no settled 
residents here. The commimity is in constant motion ; the people do not 
look upon Moscow as their native land ; and Hke better to adorn their 
mosques in the Crimea, or at Kasan, than one to which they are bound 
by no endearing associations." Every thing that surrounded the Httle 
thin-bearded Tartar Mollah ftdly justified his complaint. His house looked 
so ruinous, that we stood some time hesitating on the threshold before we 
accepted his friendly invitation to enter. On the walls nothing was to 
be seen but liis thick white turban, for he was a Hadji, and had accom- 
phshed his pilgrimage to Mecca successfully. A little girl, whom he 
had been teaching to read, rose from the divan, and placed herself 
with her Arab A-B-C-book at the door. The Mollah told us that he 
depended on the Mufti of Orenburg, who, like the Crimean Mufti, stood 
directly imder the authority of the emperor. These two Muftis, he said, 
were great personages, and held the rank of generals, while the Mollah 



240 



THE CONVENTS 



^^ one of the most msignlficant of the Mohammedan lights. Among 
Cwks there were several interesting oriental manu^cnpts so much 

hundred-and-iwenty Tartars who are »— ^;^^7'^&^^^\ smTpl^e of 

^t^^J=&^^ sliirrrst. PeteW. 

-V^^J!Z'^Z7:^^^,^o -Uus to the m.^e 

offered us some d«^^^^^^^^ 

"dressmg-gown f'^f ^^•,. . . "%rf ^ "w coming so far from the east as 

"the trbliierctSKkS^^^^^^ of Allah, and whose priests 
are'SllSa^Ti^dr^singgoj^^^^^^ 

S::£, in^'^SritlL^^^^^^^^ The flocU were long 

L':£to ket together the ^ssary ^^^^^^^^^^^ 

Eti'ihaUt mustb:p.ed -n uncomfo^ahly .mpj. ^^^^^ >s meom- 

prehensible to me, that t ha. not y«* XjJJ^i^'^CtemL of these 
Lre to perform the really Christian work "Mf^^Sj^^'^j^'^J ^ k„ow, 
pr Mohammedans in^o decent e^ , J ,, 

t,y experience, ""der wha ?;°°^'=/jXedwith Christian principles, have 

contrarv those who sW^^ 

even robbed them ot someuiiiig » i^ r • pvDense. was for 

THE CONVENTS. 

'fhe convents of Moscow, about tw.nty-one 5" ««£- ^-^^j^-^f^J 

some in the interior and °!<l-t P^^^jlJl^Mt o^ t^^ -ith 

confined in space ; others m the meadows »>'» g?_^ wardens, and fields, 
their walls embracing so many «h"rches, huildings,^ g^^^^^ 
and crowned with such numerous lowers, that each looks hke 

Within the walls of the D"-''"' """f ^^ dte Lg"f° thtVhiman- 
chapels, a biitih wood, several courts, and the dwelling „^^„^t^,i^. 



DEVITSHEI MONASTIR. 



241 



1 - 



A young monk, whom I met drawing water from a well in the court, 
was my guide. There is by no means so much life and amusement in the 
Russian cloisters as in those of the south, in Austria, the Tyrol, Italy, &c., 
where the good fathers sit together the whole day long, gossipping over 
their wine and cracking walnuts and chesnuts. Nor have they so many 
means of diversion, no billiard-tables for example, only ordinary halls and 
scanty libraries. The cold must tend greatly to repress activity, for. it na- 
turally causes people to take great delight in warmth ; and to sit still, 
wrapped up in sheepskins, is the quiet monk's greatest pleasure. As I en- 
tered with my monk to look at his cell, four old monks were sitting hud- 
dled in sheepskins on the benches before the door, gaping about, but say- 
ing nothing ; they made me no answer when I greeted them as civilly as 
I could, but let me pass on unnoticed. 

The cell of my young father Yephim (Euphemius) was not badly fur- 
nished. He had two cells, one to sleep in, and one to sit in and receive 
company. On his table lay a heap of " Literaturnaya pribavlenie^ (lite- 
rary leaves), liis only means for obtaining a peep into the world. I asked 
him if his way of Hfe pleased him ; he answered that he was not much 
charmed with it, but he remained there, " because whoever had once said 
A, must say B." The rules seemed very severe. The monks rose at 
three, and had enough to do in the course of the day. He had not been 
long here ; he had inhabited another convent in Kostroma, and had left it 
because he preferred a convent in the capital. To quit the monastic life, 
though possible, is yet attended by many difficulties. If a monk wish to 
return to the world, he must submit his motives to the Archimandrite. 
For half a year the latter must seek to combat these ; if he cannot succeed 
in convincing the discontented monk that a cloister is better than the 
world, or if his motives are plausible, such for example as having a mother 
to support, which he can do better by some employment exercised without 
the cloister, they are laid before the emperor and the synod, who alone 
can decide whether they are important enough to procure him a relea? 
from a conventual life. 

DEVITSHEI MONASTIR 

(maidens' convent). 

I still remember with satisfaction the manner in which the good Saxcns 
in Dresden used to show me the way. If 1 asked a direction, they would 
stand still, consider a moment, and describe it most exactly, or take me by 
the arm and go a part of the way with me, never resting till I thoroughly 
understood all about it. How characteristic this was of the thorough- 
going Saxon, and how different from the Russians ! I once asked the wa j 
to the Devitshei monastery, and received the answer " Poshaluitye tarn 
dalshe " (Be so good as to go further on), and the speaker swung his arm 
round in a way that might indicate either the right or left hand, as the 
proper direction ; and this is their usual way of directing, not out of incivility, 
but from pure carelessness, and unwiUingness to take trouble, so that we 
go away from such a guide as wise as we came. If you put the question 
so that they must answer yes or no, the reply is sure to be " Yes, yes, quite 
right." You rejoice to have guessed so correctly, go on, and are sure to 
go astray. 

I got tired at last of asking, and was glad to take a droshky, where one 



240 



THE CONVENTS 



was one of the most insignificant of the Mohammedan lights. Among 
his books there were several interesting oriental manuscripts, so much 
the more interesting here, as they lay about upon the sofa and the table, 
like familiar household gods to be daily consulted. His Koran he took 
first from a covering of Russian fabric, then from a second covering of silk, 
and showed the book itself in a binding of real Cashmere shawl stuff. 
The less literature the Asiatics possess, the more valuable they esteem, and 
the better they are acquainted with it. He told us, there were about one 
hundred-and-twenty Tartars who are Sunnites, living m Moscow, and 
twenty-five or thirty Persians (Shiites). The latter have a small place of 
prayer in the house of a merchant, as the Sunnites have in St. Petersburg, 
and keep up no intercourse with the Tartars. 

The assistant of the Mollah, his sacristan, who took us to the mosque, 
offered us some dressing-gowns for sale by the way. He was he said, a 
" dressing-gown" Tartar. He made use of the German word Schlofrock, 
and we wondered not a little, that a thing coming so far from the east as 
the Bokharian dressing-gowns, should have met its appellation from so far 
west : the word is in use throughout Russia. 

The Uttle building erected here to the honour of Allah, and whose pnests 
are obliged to deal in dressing-gowns, which they must not wear them- 
selves, had a predecessor which in 1812 met with the same fate from the 
French fire, in which so many Russian churches shared. The flock were long 
unable to get together the" necessary funds for a new temple, till about 
twelve years ago, when a wealthy Tartar erected the walls that are now 
standing. It was not, however, quite completed, and has still only a tem- 
porary roof. It is not even whitewashed within, and so totally without 
decoration, that it must be called even uncomfortably simple. It is incom- 
prehensible to me, that it has not yet occurred to any wealthy Christian 
here to perform the really Christian work of putting the temple of these 
poor Mohammedans into decent condition. The Tartars do not yet know, 
by experience, under what a noble rehgious influence they live. On the 
contrary, those who should be most imbued with Christian principles, have 
even robbed them of something— a beautiful carpet. The only point on which 
these poor people could not resist the inclination to incur expense, was for 
the carpets that cover the floor of the mosque. There are some of Rus- 
sian fabric, but one came from Egypt over Constantinople, that cost them 
3000 rubles, and had a fellow equally beautiful, which some Russians stole. 



THE CONVENTS. 

The convents of Moscow, about twenty-one in number, are situated, 
some in the interior and oldest parts of the city, and these are extremely 
confined in space ; others in the meadows and gardens of the suburbs, with 
their walls embracing so many churches, buildings, gardens, and helds, 
and crowned with such numerous towers, that each looks like a little town. 
Within the walls of the Donskoi monastery there are six churches and 
chapels, a birch wood, several courts, and the dwellings for the Archiman- 
drite and the monks. These lie in the usual order of Russian monasteries 
to the riffht and left of the entrance, close to the wall. The chief passage 
leads directly to the " Sabor" (chief church of the cloister^ ; the other 
churches stand right and left of it, suiTOunded, Uke the Sabor, with graves. 



DEVITSHEI MONASTIR. 



241 



A young monk, whom I met drawing water from a well in the court, 
was my guide. There is by no means so much Ufe and amusement in the 
Russian cloisters as in those of the south, in Austria, the Tyrol, Italy, &c., 
where the good fathers sit together the whole day long, gossipping over 
their wine and cracking walnuts and chesnuts. Nor have they so many 
means of diversion, no billiard-tables for example, only ordinary halls and 
scanty Hbraries. The cold must tend greatly to repress activity, for.it na- 
turally causes people to take great delight in warmth ; and to sit still, 
wrapped up in sheepskins, is the quiet monk's greatest pleasure. As I en- 
tered with my monk to look at his cell, four old monks were sitting hud- 
dled in sheepskins on the benches before the door, gaping about, but say- 
ing nothing ; they made me no answer when I greeted them as civilly as 
I could, but let me pass on imnoticed. 

The cell of my young father Yephim (Euphemius) was not badly fur- 
nished. He had two cells, one to sleep in, and one to sit in and receive 
company. On his table lay a heap of " Literaturnaya pribavlenie' (lite- 
rary leaves), his only means for obtaining a peep into the world. I asked 
him if his way of hfe pleased liira ; he answered that he was not much 
charmed with it, but he remained there, " because whoever had once said 
A, must say B." The rules seemed very severe. The monks rose at 
three, and had enough to do in the course of the day. He had not been 
long here ; he had inhabited another convent in Kostroma, and had left it 
because he preferred a convent in the capital. To quit the monastic life, 
though possible, is yet attended by many difficulties. If a monk wish to 
return to the world, he must submit his motives to the Archunandrite. 
For half a year the latter must seek to combat these ; if he cannot succeed 
m convincing the discontented monk that a cloister is better than the 
worid, or if his motives are plausible, such for example as having a mother 
to support, which he can do better by some employment exercised without 
the cloister, they are laid before the emperor and the synod, who alone 
can decide whether they are important enough to procure him a relea? 
from a conventual life. 

DEVITSHEI MONASTIR 

(maidens' convent). 

^ I still remember with satisfaction the manner in which the good Saxcns 
in Dresden used to show me the way. If I a^ked a direction, they would 
stand still, consider a moment, and describe it most exactly, or take me by 
the arm and go a part of the way with me, never resting till I thoroughly 
understood all about it. How characteristic this was of the thorough- 
going S^on, and how difterent from the Russians ! I once asked the wa> 
^"^/i^'^,, /^'^^ ^' monastery, and received the answer "Poshaluitye tarn 
daJshe (Be so good as to go further on), and the speaker swung his arm 
round in a way that might indicate either the right or left hand, as the 
proper direction ; and this is their usual way of directing, not out of incivility, 
but trom pm-e carelessness, and unwillingness to take trouble, so that we 

^Tyi'"''''' '"''^^ ^ ^'^^ ^^ "^'^^ ^' ^^ *^^^^- If yo^ P"t the question 
so that they must answer yes or no, the reply is sure to be " Yes, yes, quite 

right. You rejoice to have guessed so correctly, go on, and are sure to 
go astray. 

I got tired at last of askmg, and was glad to take a droshky, where one 



242 



DEVITSIIEI MONASTIR. 



DEVITSHFI MONASTIR. 



243 



question did for all, and the answer was a deed, " Isvoshtshik na Devitshei 
monastir" (Drive me to the Devitshei monastery), " slmshu" (I hear), — 
"PashoU"(Goon). 

The monastery stands at the end of the Devitshei-Pole (maiden's field), 
a large grass grown waste, without Senilanoi Gorod. The maiden's field 
is more interesting from its historical associations than its outward appear- 
ance. It is the field on which the Russian emperors entertain their sub- 
jects on the occasion of their coronation. In 1826, Nicholas had the tables 
laid here for 50,000 persons. On such an occasion it affords doubtless a 
more pleasing prospect than when on ordinary days one happens to be 
driving through it with an empty stomach. 

On the walls that surround the monastery alone, there are sixteen 
towers ; the principal church has, as usual, five small ones, others rose on 
all sides belonging to the supplementary churches and chapels, and a great 
tower for the bells was, of course, not wanting. The inner court of the 
cloister is charmingly adorned by him, who is in general no great deco- 
rator. The robber of all beauty, the annihilater of all form, the destroyer 
of all speech and colour — Death, shows in these courts so fresh a life of 
plants, such attractive colours in marbles and flowers, such consoling speech 
in texts and inscriptions, and such pleasing forms in urns and balustrades, 
that he appears here the most amiable gate-keeper in the world, as he in- 
vites us to enter his gardens. The departed lie thickly round the church, 
as if they would yet listen, as in life, to the songs of the nuns, and take part 
in the sacred ceremonies within, surrounding it with a far more graceful 
dance of death than the German painter has represented in Liibeck. Such 
thoughts passed through my head as I strolled about the courts of the 
monastery, waiting for the conductress 1 had requested from the Igumena 
(Abbess). While I was looking at the inscriptions, I hoard keys rattling 
behind me ; a black nun was standing at a little distance, and seemed to 
be waiting for me. I approached and greeted her in as friendly a manner 
as I could, but was almost frightened, as I came nearer, at the angry- 
looking figure which placed its two arms on its sides and addressed me 
thus : " Here, are you the person who has asked for the keys of ilr 
churches ?" " Yes, fair lady, I should like to look at them a little nearer." 
She made no attempt to lead me to them, but continued in a tone of the 
utmost surprise : " And why, for God's sake, do you wish that. You are 
the third person who has asked that favour this spring. Like you, your 
predecessors had note-books in their hands, one even made drawings, and 
they were both Nyemtzi (Germans) like yourself. Have you no churches 
in your own country, and is not Moscow full of churches besides? What 
brings you so far out here ? We poor nuns have a heavy service and 
plenty to do, and why should we wait upon you, who do not even pray in 
this church ? How much do we get in the whole year ? Four-and-twenty 
rubles, and that is all ! What more we want, we must gain by the labour 
of our hands. We could not even exist but for those you are now looking 
at ; the dead, I mean. They bring us the most, and are oiu* only hope, 
since our rich possessions have been taken from us, particularly those who 
are buried near the ' sobor' (principal church), for that costs most ; those 
that lie about the chapels pay less, and those by the walls least of all." 

I interrupted this discourse by the necessary answers and remarks ; told 
her that her cloister enjoyed a particular reputation ; that I had learnt at 
school in my native city, three hundred (German) miles distant, that it 



i 



I 
I 






1 



had been the retreat of the sister of Pet^r the Great, and that therefore I 
wished to examine it. 

" Perhaps, sir, you are also working at the plan of Moscow that is 
making here, and for which they are drawing all the houses and churches," 
said another of the nuns, who were standing staring at us, and listening 
to our dialogue. 

*' A plan of Moscow ! and what is that for ? Mount our tower there, 
and you have the whole city before you ; and what is the use of drawing 
what you have already ?" returned Sister Eudokia, for so I heard the 
uncivil beauty was called. That she was uncivil my readers will them- 
selves perceive ; that she was a beauty I must answer for myself. She 
was really very beautiful : her straight Grecian nose, fair skin, bright colour, 
and pretty plumpness, were set off by her pretty nun's dress, and quick, 
open, saucy manner. She was one of those beauties that last longest, 
their attractions depending less on the quickly-vanishing charms of com- 
plexion and graceful fullness, than on symmetrical construction and fea- 
ture — the finely-formed nose, beautiful arch of the forehead, regularly 
moulded chin, and gi*aceful turn of the cheek. 

There was nothing very worthy of note in the church, except the tombs of 
Peter's sisters, Eudokia and Catherine, and of the intriguing Sophia, who 
here transcribed the Gospels that are to be seen in the Uspenski Sabor 
During her lifetime she inhabited the house now tenanted by the Igumena 
of the convent. I had hoped to have gleaned some characteristic anecdotes 
of a person so historically remarkable, but all my inquiries were vain. 

My guide. Sister Eudokia, was lively and witty, and allowed scarcely a 
monument or church vessel that she showed me to pass without a jest — 
every one more or less a hit at my incomprehensible curiosity. As we 
came out of the church the bell sounded for prayers. " There," said she, 
" they are ringing, we must pray. You can pray, I hope ?" " We do 
pray, certainly," said I, " but it is in silence." " Yes," said another, 
" they do pray, for I was once in their church in the Niemitzkaya Sloboda 
(German suburb), and I saw them." 

** Is there also a Jesus Christ in your church ?" " Yes, we have him 
also." " Why can't you pray, then, in our way ? Shall I show you? 
See, you must do this ;" and thereupon she made the sign of the cross 
in the Russian fashion, and invited me to imitate her. " Yes, you must 
do so," repeated the others laughing, as they crossed themselves, bowed 
down, and offered up their prayers. " Now, do it after us." Half forced 
by these nuns, who were here doing what could scarcely have been done in 
a Catholic country, 1 endeavoured to make the cross as they showed me. 
The thumb, the forefinger, and the middle finger of the right-hand must 
be held together ; you then begin at the right-shoulder, passing over to 
the left, from that to the forehead, and thence down to the breast. 1 
made a mistake of course at first, but tried over and over again till my 
teachers were satisfied. " There," said Sister Eudokia, " now, an- 
other time when you come into our church, make the cross properly, and 
pray like other people." As she talked to me without ceremony, I fell 
in love with her without ceremony — that is to say. for the time of my stay 
in the convent. As it was pretty evident that for the period of our union 
I should be under the lady's slipper,* I did not venture to object when 

* To be under the slipper is a familiar German expression, corresiK)nding v^ith 
what in English is called petticoat government. 

r2 



244 



ANDRONIEVSKOI MONASTIR. 



she said that we must mount the bell-tower, to look at the " SpaiTOw 
Mountains" and the meadows round the convent. The pleasure which this 
gave us both was of a very different character. She knew nothing either 
of the picturesque beauties that presented themselves as soon as we had 
ascended the first few steps of the tower, whence the whole landscape was 
divided into so many beautiful pictures, by the towers of the convent wall 
placed at regular distances, and affording between every two a separate 
tiew of rich meadows, with woods and buildings ; nor of the magnificent 
panorama of river, hill, and valley, visible from the summit. She looked 
at them only in a practical point of view ; told me how many men and 
how much cattle those fields and meadows could feed, what the convent 
had formerly possessed, what now remained to it, whom this and that field 
belonged to, and so forth. 

The Russian convents are very tolerant ; the monks may receive women, 
and the nuns men, probably under certain restrictions, with which I am not 
acquainted. It is certain that I subsequently found no comer in a Russian 
convent which I might not enter with the permission of the Igumena ; 
and that in the male convents tea parties were sometimes ^ven where 
women were present. I never heard that this freedom of intercourse 
led practically to a greater laxity of morals in Russian convents than lu 
Catholic ones, where the severity is greater. 

ANDRONIEVSKOI MONASTIR 
(andronicus convent.) 

I had heard that the church of Martin the Confessor (Martin Ispovednlk) 
was an elegant modern building, and that it might be compared to St. 
Paul's in London. Experience here again showed me how often low things 
are compared with high ones. There is no more comparison between 
them than between the Swiss Alps and the Waldavian swamp-hills ; and 
if Moscow has in the church of Martin Tspovednik a St. Paul's, then every 
Russian village has in like manner its Horace, its Thucydides, and all the 
other great things in the world, into the bargain. 

I thought to have seen in this church a specimen of Russian church 
magnificence in a new style, and was so provoked to find myself deceived, 
that when the disobliging servant of the priest told me that his reverence 
was asleep, and he could not give me the keys for the interior, I positively 
hated the place, and in mv ill humour went directly to complain of the 
church and its rude servitors together to the Diakon Inriokentie, whose 
name 1 saw on the door of a neighbouring house. I found the Diakon 
walking up and down his room. When I had made his acquaintance, 
and he had promised me his assistance to obtain an entrance to the church, 
he asked me to sit down. I saw many books in his room that had re- 
ference to the history of Russia ; and after I had become a little calmer he 
showed me his library. He had a great many good books ; among others, 
a Russian translation of the SlHtidcN tier Am/ac/i(,* nnd Massillon's ser- 
mons in French, both of which he praised greatly. I found myself in this 
manner very comfortable with him, and forgot my anger with tl.e church 
of the Confessor, the sooner when he assured me I might enjoy the fine view 

* A devotional work, which Ims for many years enjoyed the highest popularity 
ill Germany, and of which the celebrated novelist Zschokke has lately avowed 
himself to be the author 



TSHUDOFF 3ION ASTIR. 



245 



from the high banks of the Yausa just as well from the tower of the An- 
dronicus convent and that I should have but a few steps further to drive. 

As I found in the courts of the convent nothing particular but a few 
old monks wrapped in thick sheepskins, I went directly to the bell-tower 
The tower-keeper, whom I asked to guide me there, showed himself quite 
a Russian of the common stamp. He brought me to the door, but evea 
that hesitatingly and unwillingly. At the door he said, " There are the 
steps, take care how you go ; mind you do not break your neck, for it is 
in a very bad condition." " Well, but you mean to go with me V* said I. 
" Why should I go with you for nothing, I have something else to do,** 
answered he saucily enough. " Fool ! dost think I shall not pay thee for the 
service ? Come with me," returned I in a harsh and imperious tone ; 
whereupon he took off his hat directly, and walked before, saying, "/jf- 
vi?iitt/€, moshet buit, ya oshiptza sdddal.'^ (Ah, forgive me, most honour- 
able sir, perhaps I have done wrong. Will you excuse me ?) All this 
meant that he thought he had perhaps offended some great person in me, 
and he became quite another man in speech and demeanour. 

The view was as fine and picturesque, and perhaps more so, than any 
other in Moscow ; the whole valley of the Yausa, rich in gardens, trees, 
and magnificent houseS; lay at my feet. Two years ago there was a gi-eat 
fire in the neighbourhood of the convent, which destroyed four hundred 
houses and churches. All had already been restored, churches and all, 
with the exception of one house, which still lay in niins ; another sign of 
the fresh and healthy life of Moscow, for if the city had not possessed 
an abundance of vital energy, such a wound would not have healed so 
quickly. 

TSHUDOFF MONASTIR 

« 

(the convent of the miracle). 

Towards evening I repaired to this cloister on the Kremlin, to see what 
wonders it might contain. In the corridor, as I entered, the old " Ba- 
tiushkas," clad in black, were shuffling along to their cells. For centuries 
the good fathers must have trodden morning and evening in the sell 
same path, for I found the stones worn the whole way into a conqilet 
furrow. I swam with the stream, and got into a gallery of the cloistt 
that looked over the court and gardens. Here stood some of the fathers, 
who had not gone in to mass. I contrived to hook myself on to them 
by means of my imperfect Russian, and we were soon on good terms. 
We leaned over the balustrade of the gallery and looked down into the 
court, suiTOunded on two sides by the convent and the church, and on 
the other looking out upon the old and the modern time, on sacred and 
profane, on the rude and the elegant, on the old tower of the " Spassgate,*' 
the yet fresh buildings of the " little palace," the towers of the Vossnes- 
sensk cloister, and on other edifices. 

The monk with whom I had twined the thread of conversation was a 
man of about forty years of age, and had been only four years in the 
convent. Before that time he had been a secular priest in Vossnessensk, 
but having lost liis wife, whose children had died before her, he had 
entered a convent. He said, " it is a melancholy thing to live alone as 
a priest. Here I have some society, and all sorts of little employments, which 



246 



TSHUDOFF MONASTIR. 



occupy me out of the time devoted to religious duties. I learned from him 
the most important particulars respecting the convent. It is one of the 
oldest in the city, and has heen from ancient times the seat of the me- 
tropolitan of Moscow. The present metropolitan, however, does not live 
in it, but in a magnificent house in Garden-street. He has done like 
the czar. The one has taken to himself a new capital, the other a new 
house. The convent too has declined. There are sti thirty monks resi- 
dent in it ; eating and hungry monks, but not one is hlled or satished. 

I find nowhere more agreeable entertainment than within the walls 
of a cloister, whether it arises from a particular liking on my part tor their 
silent courts, or because their galleries and gardens are in fact peculiarly 

adapted for conversation. , , , , i, i,- r *^ 

I stood lonff here with my good monk, who had as much objection to 
beino- alone as I had, and loved as I do the society of the cloister. lie 
told me many things which I no longer remember, conversing rationally 
enouirh, tiU on some mention being made of nuracles, he began all at once 
to recount a story of some saint's picture of Moshaisk, that betrayed all the 
child-like facility of faith, so peculiar to the Russians. The French, who 
in their belle France little dieam of the many miracles they gave occasion 
to in the year 1812, were also in that httle town which hes east of Mos- 
cow, and pointed their profane cannon at a picture which had till then been 
ranked among ordinary ones, but which on that occasion became all at 
once imbued with wonder-working power. Ihe French, it was said shot 
thirty-two balls at the picture, not one of w iich hit the mark all re- 
maining fixed romid in a circle, " as may yet be seen. The violent^ con- 
cussionf however, stmck off many fragments of stone, al of which the 
picture could not of course repair, as they were countless. Some of 
&iem struck the picture, and caused wounds whence blood flowed, which 
announced its miraculous quality. The trusting and naive openness 
with which Russians repeat such stories as these to strangers without the 
least reserve, wins our love, even while the superstition they display, calls 

up a smile upon the lip. , . i ^- ^ a c,*. 

The ffood monk, whom I had plagued with my questions on my first 
visit, asked me to come again the next morning when he would show me 
i\,^ Risnitzi (treasury) of his convent. I did not fail to go, and found 
him hard at work with a white apron over his black habit, and a arge 
paste brush, pasting with the help of one of the church attendants, large 
Lets of paper together. They were hangings for some fresco pamtmgs 
of the church, done in gay colom-s by a painter from Switzerland. How 
fortunate it would have been if the good father could have painted them 
himself ! But these arts do not flourish here. The chief divisions of the 
cathedral are painted with scenes from the old cccuinenic councils, m the 
order of time they were held. The first was in Nicea the second m 
Zaregrad (Constantinople), the third in Ephesus the fourth m Chalcedon 
the fifth in Constantinople, the sixth and seventh m W. "^w near I 
felt to the east, and how evident was that influence of the two beautiful 
peninsulas, Greece and Asia Minor, which pervades the whole his- 
tory of Russia! It is scarcely possible to enter a church m Moscow, 
without hearing the east spoken of, particularly Zaregrad, the im- 
uerial city." The Russians never speak of Constantinople under any 
other name. As they have their own name, so they have their own way 
of considering this city before which their barbanan forefathers fought, 



SA IKONO SPASSKOI. 



247 



and from which Christianity came to them, as the GeiTnan races fought 
before Rome and afterwards received Christianity from her. 

My good friend the monk had at last found the keys of the Risnitzi 
(treasure chamber), and we went there together. The door was as thick 
as the trunk of an oak-tree, the locks looked as if they had been forged 
from anchor iron, and of a form only in use in convents and churches. 
The Risnitzi is a little dark room, containing, in the first place, twelve 
Persian standards with silver hands, and several presses full of all kinds of 
costly objects ; brilliant popochs, or long staves of the hierarchy and me- 
tropolitans carried at the coronation of the emperor, most magnificent 
mitres belonging to the metropolitans, with more precious stones than in the 
crowns in the Orusheinaya palata, and several " Umnivalnitzi,^^ one in 
particular of gold, of Grecian workmanship. The umnivalnitzi are costly 
washing apparatus, in which the metropolitan washes his hands in rose- 
water, when celebrating divine service. One principal garment of these 
dignitaries is called a Sakos. One formerly belonging to Alexis is still 
here. He must have worn it in days when he was stronger than when he 
bestowed that blessing on Demetrius Donskoi, which gained the battle of 
Kulikoff over the Tartars, for it is as heavy with gold as the coat of mail 
of many a czar with iron. 

The greater part of the things in this treasury date from Plato, the 
last celebrated metropolitan of Moscow, who enjoyed great credit under 
the three reigns of Catherine, Paul, and Alexander. Plato must have 
been a man of noble and cultivated mind ; on the worthiness of no metro- 
politan are opinions more unanimous than on his, and he has left several 
highly- esteemed works, among others, a volume of excellent sermons 
delivered by him. Alexis and Nikon are the two main pillars of the 
church. A Bible, transcribed by the former, is bound in a net-work of 
pearl. Pearls are made great use of in the Russian Greek church. Not 
only whole books are sown, and pictures covered with them, but they form 
the trimmings of wide full robes and of large curtains. In the presses of 
this chamber I saw vessels full of pearls, sorted according to their size ; 
the vessels were filled to the brim. In other respects the Risnitzi of this 
cloister is not so rich as those of the Archangelski Sabor, and that of the 
patriarchs. The richest of all is in the Troitski convent, in the neighbour- 
hood of Moscow. 

SA IKONO SPASSKOI. 

The first reception of strangers by the hospitable Russians is generally 
so extremely courteous, that I could hardly believe my ears, when on 
asking pel-mission to visit the " Sa-Ikono-Spasskoi" convent, to which is 
attached a school for young people destined for the church, the Otetz 
Rector (father rector), answered without ceremony, " U nas Smatritelei ne 
9iushno" (We don't want visiters, I can't permit it). I had, as I thought, 
made my request so very courteously, and he had with such decided cold- 
ness thrown his refusal in my face, that on considering the matter with 
my usual philosophy, I could not help finding my position extremely 
comic, and had like to have betrayed my thoughts by a hearty burst of 
laughter. I restrained myself, however, and pretending not fully to 
understand him, replied with a smile, " No, that is not what I meant ; I 
only wished if possible to see the library, and, if it did not cause too much 
disturbance, to pay a visit to the school, for which, as a sort of schoolman 
myself, I have a particular interest." 



248 



THE GREEK CONVENT. 



The Otetz Rector had by this time repented of his inhospitable speech, 
and so to turn my attention from his commencement, he invited me into 
his room, and said he would follow as soon as he had settled some business 
with a monk. 

In this room I had time to have my laugh out, and then to look at 
the portraits with which it was adorned, before a pale friendly -looking 
man presented himself, to whom I took an immediate liking. He offered 
himself as my cicerone for the school of which he was the inspector, and 
entered forthwith into conversation, half in Latin, and half in Russian. I 
learnt that he was called Father Eusebius, that his employment was to 
overlook the school under the authority of the Otetz Rector, and that he had 
advanced so far in ecclesiastical dignity as to be Canonicus Hieromonach, 
which is the nearest step to an Archimandrite. His full address when 
written to was: " To the Inspector of the Sa-Ikono-Spasskoi Monastir, 
the Reverend Canonicus Hieromonach Pater Eusebius.*' 

The pupils, of whom there are six hundred, are admitted in the sixth 
year and dismissed in the twentieth. When the course of study here is 
completed, they are according to circumstances and talent either placed in 
the lowest offices of the church, as Diakoii, or sent to the academy of the 
Troitzkoi cloister, to pursue their studies further, and prepare themselves 
for the higher dignities. On hundred of the pupils live in the convent 
itself, the rest >vithout the walls. The variety of costumes I saw in the 
classes was an agreeable appearance to me, every one dressed according to 
his own taste, and the military spatterdash service, the counting of but- 
tons to be done or undone on coats and waistcoats, had not yet found 
entrance there. There are eight professors, all Russians. The library is said 
to be the best pubHc library in Moscow, and consists of G eek, Latin, Rus- 
sian, and German books. In the theological philosophical book -cases, I 
found Schelling's works, Neander's Church Historj, Cicero and Tacitus, 
and several copies of Luther's Bible. I was just coming out of the library 
with Father Eusebius when we met the rector, who invited me to attend 
the lesson he was about to give himself in the classes. He now looked 
quite a different person, his countenance was radiant with civility, and his 
toilette brilliant. Over his black dress his hair hung in the usual three 
clubs, one club principal behind, and one over each shoulder. Round his 
neck he wore a large gold cross set with jewels, and carried in his hand a 
long wand tipped with bright silver, — a real rector magnificus. 

In such company it was no wonder if the professors served up the best 
they had to offer. However, having once squabbled with the rector, I 
soon withdrew with Father Eusebius into his private apartment, which 
differed little from that of a German of the same condition. I found there 
several theological works both by Catholics and Protestants, Luther's Bible 
again, and Niemeye/s, which he praised very much. I could not help 
expressing my wonder at the variety of the collection, to which he replied, 
" Oh, yes, we take the best from all ;" wliich the fact proved in the 
best possible manner. 

THE GREEK CONVENT. 

I was one day as much out of tune as a damp lute, and the wings of 
my fancy were as little elastic as the wings of a bird when Jupiter Plu- 
vius is descending from heaven. I wanted something to excite me, and 
flew to the five monks of the Greek convent in Kitai Gorod in search of 



THE GREEK CONVENT. 



249 



conoslation. The convent is small, with one small gallery surrounding a 
narrow court, in the midst of which stands the church. I stood a while in 
this gallery talking in a loud tone to the Russian servant, in the hope that 
euriosity would allure to me some of the fathers, with whom I might have 
a little conversation. • I was not deceived in my expectation ; in a short 
time a black Greek eye sparkled at the door. 

" There is Father Arfael (Rafaelle) peeping out," said the Russian ; 
" he can tell you all better than I can.'' And accordingly with Father Arfael, 
I contrived to keep up a dialogue which doubtless must have been a very 
comical one to any third party, on account of the bad Russian in which we 
were both obliged to spell out our ideas to one another. After I had 
introduced myself as a foreigner and explained what I wanted, he began 
to question me about my native city and my kindred. When he heard 
that I had a mother, sisters, and brothers, he took me to task for " tra- 
velling about out of mere curiosity, when I ought to stop at home, to 
sweeten the declining life of my mother, instruct my brothers, and get my 
sisters married, for all this was the duty of a young man of my age ; and 
before all curiosity and all knowledge, honouring and cherishing a mother 
should have precedence.** 

I held it my duty to submit to all his questions respecting my social 
relations, because I meant to demand the same from him ; yet I endea- 
voured to turn by degrees the conversation from the narrow streets of my 
paternal city to the airy heights of Mount Afon (Athos), which is more 
celebrated and more spoken about in Russia, than Olympus is in Greece. 
This convent is an offshoot of the Iberian convent founded by the Geor- 
gian czar son Mount Athos. 

This convent shelters five monks and an Archimandrite, who are 
relieved by new comers every five years, Father Arfael had held out four, 
and thought the fifth would soon be over, when he would return to his 
cell on Mount Athos, where the stove would not be the chief piece of fur- 
niture in the room, and where it would not be necessary to cover the 
Avinter church with the summer one to keep it warm. The object of this 
convent is to minister to the two hundred Greeks resident in Moscow. 

I expressed my sorrow to my Mount Athos friend, that he was stiU 
under the Turkish sceptre instead of belonging to liberated Greece, but I 
found him of quite a different opinion. " It was much better as it was," 
he said, " and he and all his brethren were glad that they were to remain 
in the old way. The king of Greece was a papist, which was worse than 
being a Turk. The Greek king ought to have done as the Russian 
empresses did, and adopt the religion of the people, which was a right and 
reasonable proceeding !" Nothing could exceed his contempt for the Httle 
Greek kingdom, and I found this way of thinking miiversal among the 
Greek clergy in Russia : those Greeks, on the contrary, who were military 
men, seemed very desirous of entering the Greek service, and showed no 
such preference for the Turks. 

Father Arfael invited me aftei-wards to rest myself on the cushions in 
his cell ; and tliere I was obliged to relate something concerning the great 
theatre, which stood not far from his convent, and whose interior was an 
object of great curiosity to him. He had never been so far from the walls 
of his place of shelter. His cell was adorned with pictures of the Iberian 
cloister, done partly in Moscow, and partly in Venice ; his Greek books had 
likewise been printed in the two cities. Over his door a cross was painted, 



250 



DIVINE SERVICE. 



«id at the head of his bed a text, teaclung contempt for all temporal and 
«ve«nce for all celestial matte,^. He had chosen the text hnnself, a. 
Ill Ire wont to choose one, for the heads of the.r couches and, more- 
over he preached upon it for my benefit. " All thm^ m th.s world were 
Zl' anfman the vLinest. He and all else were but dust. Man should 
jfoH nn this dav and night, and never loose sight of it. To-day man 
w:S,TnJ toSr'w he'wL gone. So was it with all men, but with 

him narticularly, as he wa^ suffering under a hver complaint and might 
bim parMcmany, ^^ perceived m him, but I 

^j^icedThea ttt he^^adJ L good a practical u^se of the holy doctrine 
Tread with him some consoling passages from his Greek Bible, on which 
IrconveKed, and I left him in the twilight, cheered and comforted by 
we conver^a, a ; ;„ j^e mood to stay the year out 

'tTAXtand £n withdraw with him to Moxu.t Athos, there to await 
mfhatpytdryet - there was still much in the worid that was new and 
hiteSng to me, 1 thought I might a. well postpone my retirement, till I 
had seen what there was to be seen. 

DIVINE SERVICE IN THE RUSSIAN GREEK CHURCH. 

A man must feel all the wants of a poor Russian seminarist, who wishes 
A man m"^' . j^j ceremonies as much as a Russian Greek 

ChSr ZTs never tTred of church going, to desire an acqunintance 
with all thrservices which the fancy of the priests and the people have 
• ^!l for the collective 363 saints in the year, and for the adornment 
7 Slmeoth cresting moments in the\fe of a man of seventy rears 
of alTm his birth to \h death. Something concennng them, liow- 
ever^ is necessary to be known by a generally welUnformed person ; we 
wm endeavour, therefore, to give some account of he">./^'>c ' "^'^V^ 
The less unwelcome as they have been generallv overiooked by traveller^. 
L^t us be^Tn with the birth, or rather vvith wliat mnuediately follows .t, 

%Kffice of the church follows the birth so quickly, according to the 

Treek ritual that the mother cannot be present, and as it is supposed that 

^Pfatwts employed in cherishing and comforting his wife, neither assist 
the father is emP'oye" ^ ^^^^^ ^^^^ ^,^^.^ ,^^^ 

tm:X"t -t «st% asL to be godfathe. Should the emperor 
oome gieat i^ ;niirr»pv be in any town within whose walls a child 

hi 5C; W, r S^ie"! ri/ht to request their emperor to be 
SaTherwhich i seldom reused, and his majesty has probab y a larger 
Ser of godchildren within his empire, than any of his subjects. 
7s the chUd, so long as it is unchristened, is a little heathen and as such 
V- . .Tf tl,^ pvil snirit the priest's first address to it is a demand that 
Twlf r nount hil^'^ltrtkalsa a diavola" (Renounce the <lev41). As 
the child does not answer, the godfathers do^J, for him, and he",-and a 
very odd thing it is to see,-the priest spits behind him, and all tho « pre- 
-tJi follow his example ; they spit at the retreating devil ! This is the 
fc let old eba^Ttism. As an' interlude, the priest offers up a prayer 
a^d If he hal brought singers with him, they sing. During this time, the 
chUd is in a neutral condition, and it is in fact hard to say to which king- 
ill «n?,rbelonLrs Tlie evil spirits have left him, but the good have 
'r>'t ti I'oSon. I never Luld learn what the priests think on thi. 



THE MASS. 



251 



i' 



point. Perhaps they admit a middle state, or purgatory. At any rate he 
hovers a tolerably long time between heaven and the lower world ; but 
whatever the somewhat extravagant fancy of the elders may choose to 
suppose his condition to be, blessed or unblessed, the little one cries or 
smiles philosophically through all. Before the immersion, the whole party, 
preceded by the priest and the godfathers, make a solemn procession round 
the font; this is repeated three times in the name of the Father, the Son, 
and the Holy Ghost. Then the priest consecrates the water, and puts a 
metal cross into it ; and afterwards immerses the child three times, again 
in the three sacred names ; and lastly pronounces the baptismal name be- 
stONved on him. 

With respect to the name, the custom varies in different parts of Russia. 
The great, of course, bestow what names they please ; but in some places 
the peasants must take the name of the saint on whose day the child may 
happen to be christened. In others, they may choose between the saints 
for eight days before, and eight days after the birth-day. Sometimes, and 
this is most frequently the case, the priest, whose coimsel is always asked, 
gives the name. No Russian has more than one name. This custom rests 
upon the belief that each name has its representative in heaven, who 
is the guardian angel of all those bearing that name. It is im- 
possible, therefore, they say, that any one should bear two, because he 
cannot have two protecting angels ; that is, he cannot serve two masters. 
After the third immersion, the child is a Christian, as the visible sign^of 
which, the priest suspends a small metal cross to the neck by a black string, 
and this is kept on the breast as an amulet through life. It is then dressed; 
the procession round the font repeated, this time the godfather carrying 
the child, instead of the godmother ; burning tapers are carried before 
them, whose flame is always held to symbolise the Holy Spirit in the Rus- 
sian church ; they must not, therefore, begin to flame, till the child is 
supposed to be filled with that spirit. The child is then anointed on the 
body, eyes, ears, mouth, hands, and feet, with the before-mentioned mir, 
or holy oil. Lastly, from four places on its little head, the priest cuts 
cross-wise a piece of its silky hair. Unfortimately I never could learn 
the signification of this hair-cutting. It is rolled up sometimes with a 
httle wax into a ball, and thrown into the font. 

THE MASS. 

No stranger who wishes to become acquainted with the spirit of this 
people, will omit to be present at the mass celebrated on Sundays and 
holidays, with the administration of the sacrament. As it is the chief act 
of divine service for fifty millions of people, and contains much that is 
characteristic of the people, we will endeavour to give a faithful account of it. 

Simple as it might appear at first, the priests have made so many ad- 
ditions to the ceremony, that a perfect mass, as performed by monks in 
the leisure of the cloister, lasts three or four hours. In the ordinary 
churches, where much is abridged and hurried over, it is still long enough. 

When the congregation is assembled, a diakon comes through one of 
the side doors of the ikonostas, and placing himself in front raises the 
extremity of a long, broad, gold-embroidered ribbon that hangs over his 
shoulders with the left-hand, and proclaims aloud, " In the name of the 
Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, divine service is beginning." For 



252 



THK MASS. 



THE MASS. 



253 



tliis service they select if possible a gigantic figure with a stentorian voice, 
that resounds all over the church. Immediately after .vards, the lierald, m 
the same picturesque attitude, with elevated hand, announces in the name 
of what persons they are dividing the bread for the holy ordinance. In 
the name of our Lord and most gracious Emperor Nicholas Paulovitsh. 
In the name of our Empress Alexandra Feodorovna. In the name of the 
whole imperial house. Of the state, of the military, of the civil orders. 
In the name of all orthodox Russians, and of all our Christian brethren. 

The Bible is then brought out. Tlie diakon, followed by two attendant 
diatshoks, holds it on high, allowing only the under edge to touch his 
forehead. He kisses the book and lays it down on a desk that stands 
before the "royal" or centre door of the ikonostas. This is no easy 
work, as the Bibles in Russian churches are enormously large and heavy. 
As we have before seen, some of those in the churches on the Kremlm 
are so laden with gold and jewels, that it requires two men to carry one 
Bible. One of the priests then reads an endless lesson from the scrip- 
tures. This reading, which should be the most edifying part of the 
service, is gabbled over so rapidly, that the reader gets completely out 
of breath every minute, and not a soul can undei-stand a single word, while 
the unmeaning part of the proceeding, the announcement, the bringing 
forth of the book, the opening and shutting of the doors, and such like 
matters, are performed with the most stately and picturesque slowness. 
I remarked this once to a priest, and asked him why they read with such 
frantic haste. " Ah, Batiushka," answered he, " we must make haste ! 
There is so much to do ! We should not otherwise have finished m half a 
day." The reader is frequently interrupted by the choir, with the con- 
stantly repeated words " Gospodi pomilui" (Lord, have mercy). This 
interruption, if somewhat monotonous, is yet beautiful and melodious, and 
far more pleasing than the everlasting pitiless tinkling of the choristers in 
a Catholic church. It is not quite so agreeable when the reader himselt 
sometimes breaks in with " Gospodi pomilui;' which he repeats thirty-six 
or forty times in one breath. 

During this time the high-priest who conducts the whole ceremony, is 
constantly employed mysteriously at the altar, it is not very evident with 
what. As the " royal" door of the Ikonostas is always made of some open 
carving, behind which a vapour-like half- transparent veil hangs, the high 
priest is perceived through it, continually moving backwards and forwards, 
and the stage, like the action, is a double one, half public, and halt con- 
cealed. When all is ready the second act opens. 

As the preparation began with a powerfully spoken announcement, tfie 
transubstantiation commences with a beautiful psalm, agreeable to hear 
everywhere, but, as sung in the cathedrals of the capital, a high enjoy- 
ment. The royal door then opens and displays to the people the decorated 
altar and splendid interior of the sanctuary. At the same moment the 
side-doors open and forth come the whole body of officiating priests bear- 
ino- the bread and wine, a diatshok preceding them with a burning 
taper. Then comes the high-priest with a silver chalice, followed by 
another with the salver on his head. They stand in this disposition before 
the " royal door," and the diakon pronounces aloud a prayer for the impe- 
rial family. The priests then return to the sanctuary through the royal 
door, and singing " Me Cheruvirair place the elements solemnly upon 
the altar, where the transubstantiation is to take place. The high-pnest 



kneels down and reads many prayers to himself, to supplicate God's as- 
sistance in the consecration of the bread and wine. 

In the meantime the diakon takes his former position as herald, and 
calls or sings with a loud voice, "Depart, ye unbelieving, that no infidel 
may remain in the church. We believing yace* * will then supplicate the 
Lord for his peace." 

This ceremony probably comes from the olden time of Christianity, when 
Heathens and Christians were yet mingled in the cities of Greece. Any 
Jews or Mohammedans who may .happen to be In the church must then go 
out, as they dare not be present at the solemn moment of transubstantia- 
tion. Immediately afterwards the diakon begins the long peculiar prayer : 
" We supplicate thee. Lord, for the salvation of our souls : For the purity 
of the air ; For the increase of fruits ; For the freedom of captives ; For 
welfare of travellers ; For the healing of the sick. We pray for our 
parents, for our brethren, for our children ; For the congregation here as- 
sembled, and for those who are not here. Gospodi pomollmsa ! Gospodi 
pomollmsa ! Gospodi pomollmsa ! (Lord, we supplicate thee)." To this 
general prayer a special prayer is added for the imperial family and the 
state : " For his Imperial grandeur, our great lord, the lord Nikolai, the 
son of Paul, absolute sovereign of all the Russlas ; O God, we pray thee^ 
for his consort our Empress Alexandra, Frederick's daughter ;" and so they 
go through the whole imperial family, naming every one separately, not 
omitting our good Duke of Saxe Weimar, who Httle thinks that thousands 
of prayers are daily ofifered up for him, even as far as America and Kamf- 
shatka. 

When the high-priest's private and the diakon's public prayer is ended, 
the former advances solemnly, while the choir sing a psalm, and blesses 
the chalice containing the wine. " Vladik," which may be best translated, 
Rabbi, master, " bless this vessel." The diakon then demands the same 
blessing for the bread which is shaken into the wine in the chalice, with 
the words, " Blagosslovei obei' (bless both). The moment of this bless- 
ing is that of the transubstantiation. In the same instant the priests 
prostrate themselves at the foot of the altar, the congregation make endless 
signs of the cross, and kiss the g-round repeatedly, and all the bells of the 
church burst forth at once, that the occurrence may likewise be solemnized 
beyond the church walls by prayers. But all this clamour destroys most 
cruelly all enjoyment of the fine psalm sung at the same time by the 
choir. 

The royal door of the Ikonostas opens once more, and the concluding 
act, the partition of the sacramental bread, takes place. The words, 
" Draw near in the faith and fear of God/' are addressed by the high- 
priest to those who mean to communicate, and holding the chalice in his 
hand he prays, " Grant, O God^ that we have made a true confession. 
Forgive us those sins we have unconsciously committed ; Grant that we 
receive the sacrament, not to our condemnation, but to our preservation, 
that we may kiss thee not as Judas, but as the thief, and say : I hope to 
be with thee In Paradise." The communicants then approach one after 
the other, kneel three times, and hold their hands crossed upon their breasts. 
A morsel of the bread steeped In the wine Is then put into the mouth with 



Literally transLited. 



254 



CnURCII MUSIC. 



CIIfRCII MUSIC. 



255 



a smaU silver spoon. They kiss the chalice, in which generally a number 
of saints' pictures are set, kneel once more, and depart. , , , , 

The main object is now achieved ; but as this was approached by de- 
Krees the finale must also be liarmoniously reached by as many cadences. 

This finale consists of another long p-ayer for the state, the punty ot 
the air, increase of flocks and herds, and so on, partly spoken and partly 
sung, and another reading from the Bible. The concludmg blessing .s 
given by the high-priest, generally an old man with a feeble voice, ni the 
names Of God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost; Of John the 
Baptist; Of Joseph and Anna. Of the Bcgorodiza (Mother of God;) 
Of the Saints of the Day ; Of St. Anthony, St. Michael and ^lcholas, and 
all other miracle-working dwellers in caves (hermits). 

The cross-making congregation may now retire, but it is at least ano- 
ther half hour before the priest and his assistants are released, particularly 
when the metropolitan, or a bishop, officiates. There seems no end of the 
dressing and undressing, the mutual service and kissing, the blessing and 
greeting, kneeling and crossing. When the bishop has at last assumed 
his ordinary dress and advanced to the door, where his coaeh-and-four 
have long awaited him, a carpet is spread there, and choristers and biiniing 
Upers stand ready for the '• door-prayer" to be said. Compared to tins 
truly oriental fancy in the invention of ceremonies, our Roman onental 
imaginations are mere children. The most disagreeable part of the Rus- 
sian service is the astonishing inactivity of the congregation. Tlie only 
thing done by them during tliis whole three hours ceremony, is repeated 
crossing and touching the floor with the forehead. The latter ceremo.w 
makes I peculiar impression on a foreigner, particularly when he sees it joined 
in by the highest dames. They have no books m then- hands either to foUo w 
the reading or the singing ; they are merely spectators, and tne whol^e 
service a pompous spectacle. There is nothing to enlighten the mind, or 
awaken perception ; nothing to better the heart or rouse up the ^luT-benng 
conscience. Of course my meaning here refers to the manner ^^vhid. the 
priests have arranged the matter, for I am far from denying all true reli- 
E feeling to the Russians. Many come to the church with the best 
btentions, and are there actuated by a higher spin . Most singular it is 
ihat the people never grow weary of this spectacle ; that an inatten ive 
person is never seen, much less a sleeping one a sight common enough in 
L Protestant churches ; and tliis is precisely the most '=»"^°»f "^^^^^^^ 
as it proves that the people connect some nobler ideas with that which 
L priests have rendered I mere show. Let the attempt ""lyj'^ ^J^ *° 
give the Russian public, year after year, the same spectacle of any other 
kind, and the players would very soon have to play to themselves ! 

CHURCH MUSIC. 

The most beautiful part of the Russian divine service, which none who 
is not devoid both of ear and heart, can listen to without emoticni, is the 
singing. It can scarcely be praised enough. Fortunately the Greek 
c3ch does not admit instrumental music, and cannot therefore fall into 
the error of our Catholic churches, where violins, drums, and trumpets, 
the error oi ."""^ "" ^ , ^ \^ by the profanest of all music, 

sometimes drive all piety out oi uil iciuimc, ^ , ' • i j ti,„ p.-ociano 
Unfortunately, however, the sublime organ is also banished. 1 he Russians 



\ 



often envy our organ, and express a wish that it could be admitted into 

their churches. 

We are far from meaning to compare the Russian Greek church music, 
on the whole, with the Roman Catholic. That would be as senseless as to 
place the sweet murmurs of the iEolian liarp on the same level as the full 
swell of a complete orchestra. The Russian church melody can never ob- 
tain the high perfection attained by that of the Catholics, and if on the 
one hand some nmsical absurdities, or at least what appear such in a place 
of worship, are avoided in Russia, on the other hand, Russian church 
music never can rise to the sublimity and inspiration which, in some of the 
Catholic psalms, unite in the Creator's praise. There is no degree, no 
variety in it ; all is a sweet, harmonious murmur. A " Creation," a " Last 
Judgment," a " Requiem," could never find birth in Russian church music. 
How, indeed, could a gentle child conceive such mighty thoughts ? It is 
like the monotonous whisper of the brook set to music. The chief part 
turns on the words " Gospodi pomilui" (Lord, have mercy), " Gospodi 
pomolimsa" (Lord, we pray thee), '' Padai Gospodi" (Grant this, O Lord). 
With these words the singers continually interrupt the prayers of the 
priest. The different modulations of the melodies on these few words form 
the chief study of the Russian choristers ; during a many-hours' service 
they are only occasionally varied by a psalm or two, and a prayer for the 
emperor. There is a particidar institution in St. Petersburg for the instruc- 
tion of singers for the imperial chapel. The last director is said to have 
been a composer of distinguished merit, and he is looked upon as the 
founder of the new style of chiu*ch music. The institution instructs about 
one hundred youths, from the ages of seven to eighteen, who are to supply 
the vacancies as they arise in the imperial chapel, and the demand is said 
to be very considerable, either because the Russian male voices are soon 
worn out, or because the style of church singing quickly injures them. 
Every Saturday during the winter there is a rehearsal of what is to be 
sung in the chapel next day. Some other choice morceaux are usually 
added, to make up a concert, at which there is always a numerous auditory, 
as it is easy to get tickets. At these rehearsals it is not alone the pupils of 
the institution who are heard, but all the men belonging to the chapel 
Hkewise assist. The extremes of the ages ai-e seven and forty years. They 
are extremely fastidious with the men's voices. So soon as a bass shows 
the slightest mark of decay, he is pensioned off. 

It requires some httle time to get thoroughly used to things altogether 
new and foreign to us. We see every thing individually at first, and cannot 
seize the whole connection. A longer abode in a foreign land is necessary 
to enable us to see the threads that produce the web, the sources whence 
the different rivers flow. We imderstand Russian church music better, the 
more we know of the people, and the more we have sounded the original 
channel of the national character from which it is drawn ; their national 
songs, their horn music, their Balalaik tinkling, are all of them the off- 
spring of the same stock. 

Female voices are never heard in the Russian churches, their place is 
supplied by boys ; women do not yet stand high enough in the estimation of 
the church, or of the people, to be permitted to sing the praises of God in 
the presence of men. 

It is a great point in a Russian church to have a few good bass voices ; 
considerable expense is incurred on their account, the best voices being 



256 THE CURSING OF THE HERETICS. 

everywhere sought for and liberally remunerated. They are not exactly 
for ihe choir, but for certain half recitative solos, occasionally required 
in the ser^■ice, and which must always be delivered-such is the law or 
the custom of the church-by amazingly strong and deep bass voices, lo 
such solo parts belong the prayers for the emperor, the warning to the unbe- 
lievers to depart, the cursing of the heretics, the openmg of dmne service, 
and so forth: In the ordinary churches, the harmony of the voices is less 
considered than their strength, and in such places vo-f ^ ™»y.''« '>?^^' V' 
only to frighten children in our part of the world. The Russians have in 
general very deep and rough voices, somewhat refined, indeed, and modi- 
fied among the upper classes. It may, therefore, be imagined w-hat gigantic 
organs are sometimes brought for^vard, where the priests give themselves all 
possible trouble to strengthen and cultivate the depth and roughness ot 

A short "me ago the Russian journals gave a sketch of the most distin- 
euished bass voices in the empire. The compass of each was mentioned. 
The Kasan church had the finest bass, the church of the archangel Michael 
the second Nishney Novgorod the third, and Kharkoif the Wh in 
Lellence. The above-mentioned distinguished bass of St. Petersburg was 
formerly a merchant in Tobolsk, where he remained till the stones told of 
the power of his voice procured him a call to the Kasan church, which, 
allured by the large salary, he accepted. When having received some mu- 
sical instmction, he officiated for the first time in the church, and thundered 
out the anathema against heretics, several ladies were earned faintmg out of 
the church. They say that if he meets a friend in the street to whom he 
ht southing to Vhe need only utter a stifled "He Iv-^ to tang 
his friend trembling to a stand. To open the doors through which he has 
to pass, he never uses his hands, he hems only, and the doors spring open 
of themselves. It is seriously asserted that his voice once saved his hte^ 
and put a party of robbers to flight. He was traveU.ng from Tobolsk to 
Orenburg, when, having lingered behind his companions, he was attacked 
by a party of marauding Kirgulses, and thrown to the ground. They 
w-ere about to murder him, when he uttered so treniendous a sound m 
calling for the cossacks who had rode on before Inm, that the Kn^uises, 
never doubtinjr they had something more tlian a man under their knives, 
gaUopptd off lith ismuch speed as^f a whole infernal legion had been m 
pursuit of them. Thus the voice preser^■ed itself for the musical world ; and 
now, the better to cherish it, the owner feeds it half the year upon eggs. 

THE CURSING OF THE HERE I'lCS. 

The most extraordinary, incomprehensible, and temble service of the 
Eastern Church, is the cJrsing of heretics, political as well as religious, 
which 1 had an opportunity of hearing in St. Petersburg m the winter of 

the year 1 837. , , , i j ^^ *v»« 

I had before heard that such a thing would take place, and on the 
7th of March there appeared an extraordinary throng of orthodox be- 
lievers, besieging the entrances of the Kasan church. A piquet ot gen- 
darmes had enough to do to keep order, and admit only the decently clad 
part of the pubHc into the building. It was nevertheless full to suffocation. 
The anathematizing began with a long service, with snigmg readmg, 
opening and shutting of doors ; lighting of tapers, and burnmg of incense , 



THE CURSING OF TIIK IlEUETICS. 



257 



coming and going, he. The venerable metropolitan officiated in person. 
A priest then appeared, and gave au explanation of the pecidiar object of 
the day's service. 

After this introduction, the mighty bass before mentioned stepped for- 
ward and called down anathemas upon a number of people ; on the false 
Demetrius, on Boris Godunoff, Mazeppa, Senka Rasin, and Pugatsheff; 
and after these political heretics followed the religious ones, but they were 
only mentioned in general terms. Each person or class was first charac- 
terized by a few introductory words, their names pronounced, and then 
followed two or three times, like thunder after lightning, the word, 
" anafemuy anafema'' Immediately a beautiful choir of pretty boys 
took it up after a melody so sweet and graceful, that it would much better 
have suited the words, " See the heavens how smiling," or some other 
pretty lay. It is seldom that a melody is heard so singularly in contrast 
with the words it accompanies. The bass then began the cursing anew. 
With Boris Godunoff, who though an illegitimate, was a good ruler, and 
well inclined to the priests, there was a distinction made. " For the good 
he wrought may he enjoy the heavenly blessing. For the evil, an5,fema, 
anafema." The people manifested much interest in the ceremony, and 
every time a name was pronounced that those at a distance coidd not hear, 
there arose a murmur " Who was it ? who was it ?" " Mazeppa, Ma- 
zeppa." Directly after the last anathema, followed a prayer for the whole 
house of Romanoff, and all the princes issuing from it from the time of 
Michael and Alexis ; a blessing was called down upon them, and, in the 
same way as after the anathema, the amen was repeated by the choir. It 
may be easily imagined that the whole lasted a pretty long time, as there 
was a regular enumeration made of all the good and evil that have ap- 
peared in Russian history for the last 2o0 years. I could not learn whether 
the religious heretics were distinguished, in kind, whether the CathoHcs, 
Lutherans, and others were named separately or not, or whether the commi- 
nation had reference only to those condemned as heretics by the IV'icene 
Synod. In the latter case, the ceremony is not of much importance, as 
those heretics are turned to dust and ashes, and have been forgotten long 
ago, and therefore the matter can only be considered as a dead and un- 
meaning form descended to us from ancient times. I say " dead," in a 
religious point of view, for as a political act it has hfe and influence. If 
the cursing have really reference to the Catholics and Reformers, as many 
maintain it has, it is not easily reconcileable to the apparent toleration of 
the Russians ; if it has been transmitted, as others again say, " from the 
time of the image-breaking," it becomes more and more intelligible whv 
the political rebels came to be mingled with the others. 

This is the only occasion on which any thing like general cursing is to 
be heard in Russia, where, it must be confessed, the people are on the 
whole much more inclined to bless. Mercii'ul heaven, what in Russia is 
not blessed, consecrated, crossed, and sprinkled ? The houses, the stables, 
the branches in spring, the fruit in autumn, the Easter food, the floc!:s, the 
water, the air, in short all the elements, and every thing that lives and 
moves, or wh, se wellbeing at all concerns man. The Russians consider 
us to be heathens, living as we do in unconsecrated houses, even as we are 
apt to look on those who neglect to have their children christened. No 
Russian would hold it possible that his flock could thrive, if it had not re- 
ceived the priestly blessing in spring, and in autumn to e: t apples before 

8 



^53 THE BLESSING OF THE FRUIT. 

11 ' A^\.^ VAra hlpssino- would be held by every one as a deadly 

the dev.1 has h,s special ~"F';".;^^^^^^ fo.^,„u of benedic- 

Sht: :X?^;at CWiS i^' of a. unchrUtiaa nat.e, aud 
in possession of evil spnits. 

CONSECRATION OF THE WATER. 

The consecration of the water, called also the Jordan festival, Js par- 

. ,1 • . ~>.*;„„ Tt takes place three times in the year, once m 
ticularly interesting. U takes pa ^^. ^^^^^^ i„ 

winter on the ice, o"''^ '"/P^^'f ;„*^^,'^"ited me most earnestly to attend 

Dorpat, a German ™«d^^"f * °Xv s JoXn the Rods are to be washed." 
thU festival hi these word.: J To_jaysJ^^^^^^ ^^ ^,^^ 

The lower order "^ Genn'J,"^ S^"^"^^' y i„to their heads, that the 

;ifjL\r:Lh1; fAirJc^rld by the wa., ,^|;e- jt^^^t 
^Ir that is blessed by the immersion^^^^^^^^^ 
„,ony is the most pecuhar ^n th^s occa.u)n, ^^ ^^^^ ^^ 

there be none,^ m Odes a for^^-P'^^^^^^^^ „„d fey tirch- 

a circle IS marked off on the ice^a ,,„l/ is^broken ; the priests 

trees. In the "".'l^'. ° V^^„^[" ^/^o^l^n procession, nith tapers, flags, 
come from the prmcipal church m s° e-n" P . ; , ;' ^ .^nd 

and pictures, enter tl- ^irch aijom^ a^^^^^ ^^^^^ ^.^^ 

singing, which has a cvmouseftectwheu^^ug ^.^^^ .^^^ ^^^^ 

aU the wells in tlie neighbourhood. |''^ V^^Pr^- ^^^^^/^f the river, and 

porary bower as ;^^ Jeyjho^^ J^^^^^^ 1 ^^^^ ^^^^^^.^^^ ^^^^ , ^ 

r Ir soL cTntenlo. themselves with a bottleful, to carry home to 
the water ; some contLimu,., morning, whUe the more zealous 

drink or wash their e^^s .^ m the "w g ^^^^ ^^^^^^^ ^^^ ^^ ^^^^^ 

stretch themselves ^ong the -e^ and U ^^^^^^^^^ ^^ ^^^ 

ducks after ram. That the "^^ ^^ ^^j^ ^^^^ for it is Ao/y 

freezing the ^^'atev on hair and ^^^^^J^^^^^^^^^^ fiu their green bottles, 

water. The boys who are sent ^y J^^^^^^^^ •, ,,er their heads and 

seem to take great pleasure ^ ^u"^^^^^^^^ irover" a couple of patriarchal- 

!\"-'\^:fstm I'iZt^:^^^^^^ ^-1^ 4 as much 

Sion'^^^^^^^^ — allf it were a bowl of punch they were discussmg. 
O^e of^^^^ prettiest of the festivals of this descnption is, 

THE BLESSING OF THE FRUIT. 

ThU falls on the 6th of August, and offers such a spectax^le as the festival 
Ihis tans on mi. ^^ a- i T cow if in crreat advantaff at a crnsi- 

of Pomona may once have ottered. I saw it to great aava 5 



MAKING THE SIGN OF THE CROSS. 



259 



derable convent in New Russia. A countless number of vehicles, peasants* 
carts, kalesches, one-horsed carriages, and teams of oxen, filled the gardens 
round the cloister. Before the lofty doors of the minor courts and flower- 
gardens, files of fruit-sellers had placed themselves to supply such of the 
faithful as had brought no fruit from home. "When the service was over, 
they placed themselves in double lines in the church, and those who could 
not find room there, drew up outside the line, stretching far among the 
flower-beds and tombs of the cloister-gardens. The priests then passed 
alono- the lines, sprinkling all with the healing moisture. Those who are 
very strict touch no fruit of any kind till this blessing has been conferred. 
When it is over, there is a general demolition of apples, pears, plums, &c. 
The children may then eat as much as they like, even infants at the breast 
have great apples given them, as if what had once been blessed could do no 
harm. The people walk in and out of the open dooi-s of the temples, eating 
apples ; and the beggars get whole sacks full of plums and pears bestowed 
ut)on them. This feast comes somewhat too soon in the year for northern 
Russia, or the opinion of the injuriousness of the fruit before that time, 
miMit have a good effect m hmitingthe consumption of it in an unripe state. 
As^it is, it rather does harm, as the Russian holds all to be ripe and whole- 
some after the ceremony, and plucks and eats away without restraint. 



MOLEBEN 

One of the strangest kinds of consecration is that which the people some- 
times cause to be given their own persons. When any one has any parti- 
cular act in view, or when some day in the calendar occurs to which he at- 
taches some peculiarly dear association, or when he wishes to offer particu- 
lar thanksgivings, he*^ goes to a priest, pays him a ruble, and requests him 
to read a " moleben." The priest takes him into the church, generally 
accompanied by a friend, and, assisted by an inferior priest, read prayers, 
sings, and burns incense, while he in whose behalf it is done bows and 
crosses himself without ceasing. The prayer is not addressed to God, but 
to the " Angel Khranitel,'' or Guardian Angel, and is, in fact, the little 
holiday or festival for the angel ; hence the " moleben" is very often read on 
the name day, which should rather be called the day of the guardian angel, 
held so sacred by the Russians. 

MAKING THE SIGN OF THE CROSS. 

The manner in which the Russians cross themselves is quite different 
from that of the Catholics. The little and third finger are drawn back 
into the hand, the two others and the thumb akme project, as a mystic 
symbol of the Trinity, and the whole body is bowed at the same time. The 
common people make this motion in a very grotesque manner, giving a 
huge swing with the arm and making the cross over the whole body. But 
the great, who instead of the huge saints of the merchants, have little ones 
half hidden behind the curtains, make also a httle cross in the neighbour- 
hood of the lower button-hole of the waistcoat. Between these two ex- 
tremes there are a countless number of degrees, and it is amusing to stand 
near the much-saluted pictures of the Russian church, and watch all the 
diflferent modifications of signing the cross, and thence to speculate on the 



I 



260 



MAKING THE SIGN OF THE CROSS. 



LIGHTING OF TAPERS. 



261 



rank and cliaracter of the crosses. Grace, affectation, self-complacency, 
devotion, coldness, pride, all the human virtues and human weaknesses are 
mirrored in these bowings and crossings. There is no end of them m the 
churches, and a Russian congregation engaged unceasingly m the«e exer- 
cises, certainly offers the strangest spectacle in the worid. On the festival 
of the Poklonenie Andrai* the monks must make two hundred crosses, 
bowinffs, and prostrations, one after another. , , i i j 

The Russian makes his poklon when he passes a church or chapel, and 
takes off his hat besides ; that is to say, the lower classes do, nor is it ever 
forgotten, however hurried they may be. They greet m like manner, the 
Lutheran as well as the Russian churches. I have even sometimes seen a 
Russian make this salutation where no church was m sight, when he knew 
there was one near, though hidden by intervenmg objects. They do the 
game when they meet a funeral procession, and when they nse from table 
the hiffh as well as the low ; they are so accustomed to it from youth up, that 
thev ffo through the form quite unconsciously. They ought properly to repeat 
the Lord's Prayer with it ; but the greater number do not even assume a serious 
expression of countenance. Many are talkmg and laughmg all the whde. 
The oddest of all applications of the sign is made when yawning. 
Whenever the mouth involuntarily opens for this operation, -which may 
well excite all sorts of strange fancies among a superstitious people 
seeing that we yawn quite against our will,-the Russian thinks it is he 
work of the Evil One; and that the devil may not shp m to snap up the 
Tul, the sign of the cross must be made before the mouth Thjs notion is 
cherished by none more than by venerable matrons and nothmg can be 
droller than to see an old Russian woman thus busied mdefendmg, against 
the devil, the mouth that she finds it so difficult to keep shut. 

I was once with a numerous party m the Crimea, when the little 
adopted son of the master of the house ran up to his f^^Wjith an 
Ao-nus Dei in his hand. " Canst thou pray before it ? asked the father 
"Do so, then." The child placed the Agnus Dei on ']^\f^^^\'^^''fi 
himself, and touched the floor with his forehead " W^ong, wrong 
said the father, "you should do it this way-see." And hereupon the 
dd marthT^^^^^^^ infirm and very corpulent, prostrated himself 

beforT the Agnus Dei/ I was very glad that the P-t-tant Pastor 
alnst whom I had only the evening before zealously defended the 
Russians against the charge of idolatry, was not present. 

^^ ith tlfe children it is a very usual play to imitate the action of the 
priests in celebrating divine service. The httle creatures aj^ the stately 
march of the popesT straining their voices into a droll imitation of the 
Xurch melody.^ The grown people laugh, and see nothmg amiss in this. 
Such thbffs and indeed the whole coarse style and manner in which they 
speaVof p^bg and of all parts of divine service, render it unfortunately 
but too evMe^^^ how much of their devotion is but external show. 

The same thing is apparent from the very short time bestowed on the 
religious educatiof of a child. There is no gradual development^ n^ 
condnuous progressive initiation into the mysterious truths of Chnsti- 
a" Is soon^as a chUd is baptized it js^received into the Christian 

TThewordT^iTen/. comes from poklon which "^^ans a reverence w^Mh^^^ 
united with the sign of the cross. Pokhnmie Andrai means aamuch as a KneeUng ana 
courtesying in honour of St. Andrew. 



community, and, as a perfect Christian, held immediately to participate in 
all the privileges of Christianity. Hence the sacrament is given to little 
children ; hence no confirmation or any similar solemnity takes place ; 
hence confession is admitted from boys who can scarcely speak. They 
give the sacrament even to infants in the arms of their nurses, especially if 
the child is nearly dying or sickly, because they think that the consecrated 
bread and wine, without any thing further, will act as a kind of medicinal 
ma^c. We should consider this as a desecration of the sacrament, be- 
cause we hold it efficacious only according to the measure of our acknow- 
ledgment of its sacredness, and of our own unworthiness. It is taken in 
Russia, after confession, by children of seven years old. The confession 
consists in a question from the priest, whether the penitent have sinned 
against any one of the Ten Commandments ; and if he own such to be the 
case, a penance, that is, a certain number of prostrations, is imposed ; 
after going through which, absolution and a testimonial are given, as with 
the CathoUcs. 

LIGHTING OF TAPERS. 

The lighting of tapers is a religious practice which a Russian does not 
leave to the priest, but takes on himself. At the church door an attendant 
of the church always sits to sell these tapers, — little, thin, and yellow, or 
white, thick, and large, painted or gilt, according to the purse or the 
piety of the buyers. The churches draw a large income from this ; for 
?iot only do they carry on the trade on their own account, but the ends 
that are left, and the wax that falls in drops, are their perquisites, and are a 
second time melted. On great hoHdays, when the churches are all 
thronged so that every one cannot approach the saint he wishes to 
honour, the lights are seen dancing from hand to hand till they reach the 
foremost persons, who are requested to light them up. On these occasions 
they have enough to do, but it is always done with great readiness and 
devotion. 

Such commissions often traverse the kingdom. When, for example, 
a person is gomg from St. Petersburg into the interior, the request is often 
made to him, '* Be so good and light up a candle for me of forty kopeks' 
value, to the miraculous Demetrius, in the church of the Archangel Michael 
in Moscow;" or sometimes it will be a pair of gilt candles, when any 
particular good fortune has befallen a person, which he attributes to the in- 
tercession of the saint to be honoured. When a Russian has made a suf- 
ficient number of crosses, genufleixons, and lighted up a candle to his 
favourite saint, he beheves himself as safe from the clutches of the devil 
as if he lay in Abraham's bosom. Unfortunately, the devil has often 
already secured a snug corner within the penitent's own bosom. It is 
frequently the case, that people harbouring the most detestable designs 
will fight up tapers like other pious folks to bribe the samts to assist their 
yillanies. A scoundrel once wrote to one of his accomplices : " To-morrow 
is the day, dear Ivan, when we may at last begin our enterprise. Don't 
forget to fight a candle to the Mother of God in Kasan church to-morrow 
at nine o'clock. I will do the same to St. John in Trinity church." The 
enterprise was to rob bis master of 10,000 rubles, which he actually ac- 
compHshed while the tapers were yet burning. No fisherman goes a 
fishing, no mariner puts out to se% no traveller leaves his dweUing, and no 



1 



262 



LIGHTING OF TAVKRS. 



robber goes in searcb of plunder, no murderer betakes 1»"» .*»»>• Wo?JX 
work M?hout crossing himself and lighting up a taper It .s truly a bad 
Ilgn for the Greek feligion, ^^■hen the wicked hold .t as favourable for 

^thHS:: t fotXuf i.; the outward practices of their religion 

ilShe master of th^e house, to make known Ws bus mess, or h.s request ; 
to abuse thThost or take his life, according as the object may be. Even 
tSeho^es of il repute are no exceptions ; they also are half chapels. It 
mav be doubted whether robbei-s would venture to enter the.r dens, to 
divfde their booty, if an Obross wa. not suspended there. It .s as .f the 
RussLns would have a manual proof of the omnipresence of God. 

Even the Germans and other foreigners in the .ntex-jor of the emp.ro 
are obLld to ' We in to this Russian craving, so far at leas as to suspend 
a pictu^ in their anterooms. A physician would have ht^lo practice if 

^''SeralKts"" Bogotez" (God the Father), or " Bog Sun;(God the 
Sonrw^rare -epresented on these pictures; or the Holy.Tn"'*y^ '" 
Sh he Holy Ghost takes the form of a dove. The V .rg.n .s seldom 

rreLept ^{^f^^^^^^^ I'^^a^^rrair^SXrht'd; 
?S:r^.^dyr>ii:erriS^^^ Xhe .atter i„ pa.icu,ar may 
befound every where, he is decidedly the greatest sau.tmRuss.a To 
him the Sst number of churches are dedicated, and he has, what no 
orersaiftcan boast, two holidays in the year, one m winter and one m 
summer As a Russ an once said to me, he is to the common people m 
~ id of spirits, what the heir to the tin-one |sm die potoa w^ld 

These nictures are usually Only third-lengths ; full-lengths, as tne 
CaSi's CXm, are Uly eL seen J^ey^^ ^ gene^^^^^^^^ 

"^•^he RuS dts not waft a bea^tif Jplcture liL the ItaUan -, and one 
^Z ^ tn. draw the consolatc,ry ^^^^^^ 

Jt find fhe ipdistinctly-marked canvass suffic^^^^^^ 

presence ; but it is more P'l"''*^ y. ^"'y/.^„*f,kar "^ the depths of his 

^^:::::Tz%'izt:.:;^r^^z^^^^ those dari pictures 

'"The^iLYmVion of sacred pictures is often -toundin^y large in thos^ 
^milies of conseque- f ^^^^^^ ^^^ 

^;^ rj=r: ^^^ rb^ro^r of 



THE CLERGY OF THE RUSSIAN CHURCH. 



263 



the estates ; or to provide for growing-up children, of whom each has, 
even in his sixth year, his own Obross hanging at the head of his couch. 
A wealthy Russian told me that he had a stock of such things to the 
amount of fifty thousand rubles, and was therefore provided for any possible 
contingency, 

THE CLERGY OF THE RUSSIAN CHURCH. 

If any one ask a Russian who may already have dined, to eat again, he 
^vill often answer, " Am I a priest, that I should dine twice over ?" This 
almost proverbial way of expressing themselves refers to the nmning about 
of the popes from one funeral feast, or one christening banquet, to another, 
at which they enjoy themselves more than any one else. A Russian driving 
out, and meeting a pope, holds it for so bad an omen, that he will rather 
turn back, if he have not by immediate spitting warded off the evil 
influence. 

" Mel! on ne iss nashikh ! No ! our priest is good for nothing ; he is 
not one of us ; he won't drink with us, he won't sing with us ; he does as if 
he did not know us ; if he is so proud we will not know him either, and 
make our gifts and presents to another priest." 

Such is the judgment of the peasants, as a very respectable and intel- 
ligent priest of a Ukraine village himself once told me, when I asked why 
he was not contented with his situation. He had lately left the seminary, 
and, wishhig to pursue his studies, did not like to go so much into com- 
pany. He was unfortunately not on good terms with his colleagues, and 
on still worse with his flock, who provided him so ill with necessaries, that 
he could scarcely live. 

" In no class of our society do more temble things happen, and among 
none does what is scandalous in itself take a more revolting form, than 
among our priests," was the assurance once made to me by a Russian, and he 
supported his assertion by a number of abominable tales, which it would 
not be bccomiTig in me to repeat. If we heard only such proverbs, stories, 
and assertions concerning the Russian priesthood, it would be better to 
take no further notice of such a body ; but Avhen, on the other hand, we 
consider that they litive some good qualities, of which good nature and 
toleration are not the only ones, that in these times new liglits are breaking 
in which give hopes of a brigliter future, and that the class has produced 
many excellent individuals, it may not be advisable to turn a deaf ear 
when our indulgence is solicited, or to refuse a nearer consideration of 
what we may at first be inclined to pass over as a hopeless deseii;. 

The Russian clergy are divided into the "white" and "black" clergy; 
the former are the secular, the latter the cloistered clergy The appel- 
lations are derived from their respective dresses, the one party being clothed 
from head to foot in black, the other performing divine service in white 
robes bordered with gold. The dress of the black clergy (it is necessary 
to begin with the outward man, since the outside-loving Russians make it 
the grand distinction) is throughout Russia the same, like the rules under 
which they live. The head is covered with a tall cyllndilcal black cap, 
round which flutters a long piece of black gauze, which hangs down behind 
like a lady's veil when thrown back. The principal garment is a long full 
tmilc, made generally of black velvet. The handsome curling beards, with 
which the monks are universally decorated, harmonize admirably with this 



264 



THE CLERGY Ot THE RUSSIAN CHURCH. 



dress ; they look like rich fur trimmings on the velvet robes. Their long 
hidr, divided into three tails, one falling down the back and one over each 
shoulder, is not quite so ornamental. 

As the monks all wear black, the secular priests, almost without ex- 
ception, choose bro>vn for their oixlinary dress ; when they are officiating 
as ministers of religion, it is of course different. They wear long brown 
coats buttoned from top to bottom, and over them long, full open tunics, 
with wide sleeves. The hair and beard are worn like those of the monks. 
On their heads they wear high brown or red velvet caps trimmed with 
handsome fur, and carry excessively long brown sticks studded with 
wrought silver knobs. Such is the appearance of the Russian secular 
priest as he marches with stately step through the streets. 

Many as are the Risnitzi (wardrobes) of the Russian churches that 
have been seen by travellers, to whom, moreover, the popes have often 
been goodnatured enough to serve as clothes-horses, it would yet be dif- 
ficult by any expenditure of words to give even a feeble picture of a 
priest in pontificalibus. Such things must be left to the painter. It is 
enough to say that the enormous mass of gold and silk stuffs of various 
kinds which the Russian clergy, hke the catholic, have, in the course of 
centuries, laid their hands on, is such, that the toilet of the vainest 
worldling is moderate and modest in comparison. 

The highest rank in the church, since Peter the Great abolished the 
Patriarchate, is that of Metropolitan, of which there are three, one for 
Moscow, one for Kieff, and one for St. Petersburg. Of these, the Me- 
tropolitan of Kieff is first, and he of St. Petersburg the second in rank. 
After the Metropolitans come the Archiepiscopi, and Episcopi, also called 
Archipastuiri (archpastors). The bishoprics are divided into those of 
the first, second, and third rank. To the first, belong those of Kieff, 
Novgorod, Moscow, and St. Petersburg. The Archimandrites are supe- 
riors of convents, and rank next to the bishops. They are followed by 
the inferior clergy, that is, the Protopopes, or Protopresbiteri, the first 
popes of the principal churches, who are also the heads of several con- 
gregations ; the popes (simple priests), the Archidiakons, the Diakons 
(under priests), who may read the mass, and lastly the Diatschoks, the 
most insignificant fights of the church, but who must also have " studied" 
and who, though they perform only manual offices during the divine ser- 
vice, are competent to rise up the ladder of spiritual promotion. 

The incomes of the Russian clergy are exceedingly small ; the con- 
vents, with few exceptions, are very poor since Peter the Great deprived 
them of their lands and their serfs, and reduced all monks and nuns to 
ridiculously small pensions of the state. A Metropolitan receives, as 
such, four thousand rubles banco (about 1300 Russian dollars, or less 
than 200/.) ; an archbishop has three thousand, and a bishop something 
less. In this proportion the incomes decrease, till in the lowest ranks, 
their incomes often do not exceed the wages of a maidservant with us. 
The poor nuns, when they offer their little works to travellers, often 
complain of their poverty with melancholy faces ; they receive only twenty- 
five rubles yearly (about twenty-six shillings English), and what more 
they want they must work for or beg. 

It is not to be supposed that either nun or metropolitan could exist on 
such incomes as these. All must therefore be in the receipt of some ex- 
tra revenue. The tln:ee metropolitans have each one of the greater 



THE CLERGY OF THE RUSSIAN CHURCH. 



265 



Lavras, or monasteries of the first rank. These convents serve them as 
residences and the incomes annexed in lieu of benefices. When the 
metropolitans officiate at funerals, baptisms, &c., among the nobility, 
very considerable presents are made them, amounting often to 500 or 
1000 rubles. Taken at the utmost, however, the income of a metro- 
politan never can amount to more than 30,000 or 35,000 rubles a year : 
the simple income of the prince bishop of Olmiitz is more than twelve 
times that of a Russian metropolitan. 

The bishops, all additional sources of revenue included, have seldom 
more than twelve thousand rubles a year. Each bishop has a monastir 
(convent of the second class) whose income belongs to him, and it must 
also be observed that all the superior clergy have residences found them, 
in their convents or within the city, and are maintained and furnished with 
every thing necessary, from servants and horses, do\vn to dogs, cats, spoons 
and plates, at the cost of the crown. The greater number are also pro- 
vided with a country residence, with arable land, domestic animals, and 

furniture. 

The lower classes of priests have, it is time, none of these thnigs, but 
neither do they starve. Every Russian, even the most miserly, seems to 
take a pleasure in filling them with good things. I knew a very rich, but 
very avaricious nobleman who begrudged himself every thing, but who, 
when a priest came to dine with him, produced all his best wines ; a pope 
rarely came quite sober out of his house, and the holy man's carriage 
would be packed with all sorts of dainties in addition. 

The poor nuns seem to be in the worst condition, because they come so 
little in contact with the world, which might else bestow somewhat more 
on them. They must literally live by the labour of their hands ; they 
may sometimes even be seen sowing and digging in the few poor fields 
which a convent here and there still possesses. They sometimes repair their 
own walls, and there is a church in Nishney Novgorod, said to have been 
built by the hands of nuns, probably under the direction of an architect, 
from the ground to the summit of the tower. They usually knit and 
weave stockings, silk and woollen gii'dles, purses and other articles of 
clothing, and embroider priestly robes and draperies for wealthier churches 

and convents. 

Poor as the Russian clergy appear to be with respect to revenue (a 
bishop of Durham or Canterbury has perhaps alone as much as half the 
Dukhovenstvo or hierarchy of Russia), they are rich enough in titles, 
which are sometimes a yard or two long. If a person enter the apart- 
ment of a metropolitan, and address him, the title runs thus : — " Vuis- 
sokopreosswdshtshennaishi Vladiko, or if he write tohim;--"F^o 
Vuissokopreosswdshtshenstvo Milostivdishu Gossudariu i Archipastuiru. 
The principal word may be translated — His most high holiness. The 
whole address is something like— His most high holiness the most dear and 
gracious lord, the Lord Archpastor. 

All these titles are most rigidly observed in addressing a letter ; in ad- 
dressing them personally a Httle less strictness is permitted. Yet these 
very persons, who so load them with verbal honour, are not thereby deterred 
from sometimes laying aside all respect for the most high holinesses in a 
very unceremonious manner. So long as he is engaged in the performance 
of his functions the priest is treated with extreme reverence. Not only the 
laity kiss the hand of the chief priests after the service, but the inferior 



266 



THE CLERGY OF THE RUSSIAN CHURCH. 



THE CLERGY OF THE RUSSIAN CHURCH. 



267 



priests do the same when they receive the chalice, Bible, or any thing else 
from them ; and without the church, when the priests make state visits, 
the ladies kiss the hand of the meanest of them, on which account many 
carefully cherish a pretty hand, and decorate and perfume it when they pay 
these visits. These two occasions excepted, the priests enjoy no great 
personal influence or consideration. A priest's advice is seldom asked in 
family matters ; even the domestic chaplains in great houses are there to 
perform divine service only, and never penetrate into the interior of famihes, 
as the Catholic clergy do. The peasants with us know no better counsellor 
than their pastor ; but the Russian peasant, in cases of difficulty, rather 
turns to liis saints' pictures, and invokes the sacrament rather than the 
priest who comes with it. One cannot help wondering how little the people 
in the streets or houses of public entertainment seem held in check by the 
presence of a priest. Rarely is one seen appeasing a dispute, or exerting 
any moral authority to restore order ; he passes on like any other indif- 
ferent person. Moral influence, indeed, they have little or none ; only 
with the saints in their hands are they feared or respected — only as di- 
rectors of religious ceremonies — not as interpreters of the living word of 
God. 

How much more the Russian people are devoted to their pictures than 
their priests was proved in the most striking manner in the reign of 
Catherine by an occm-rence in Moscow. During the prevalence of an 
epidemic sickness the government had caused a picture of the " Varvarian 
Mother of God," one of the most revered in the city, to be removed and 
put aside in a church, to withdraw it from the frantic kisses of the people, 
who in thus supplicating for help only spread disease further. The affair 
caused a riot. The people broke into the church, and compelled the priests 
to restore the picture to its place. The government thereupon apphed to 
the Metropolitan, who took it on liimself again to remove the Varvarian 
Mother ; which so irritated the people that they fell upon the Metropolitan 
in the public streets, killed, and tore him in pieces. The jmests naturally reap 
as they have sown. As they preach no lessons of reason or moraHty, they 
have no moral lever to put in motion ; and as they only inspire reverence 
in their magnificent pontificallbus, little or none by their example and per- 
sonal qualities, the hem of their gold- embroidered yepitrakhils are con- 
stantly kissed, while their brown every-day tunics, we are assured, often 
meet with hard knocks. The government uses them no better. The tem- 
poral power sometimes makes considerable inroads on the spiritual without 
calUng the priests to counsel ; and priests, like other pubHc officers, are 
liable to hard reprimands and severe punishments. They may be sent to 
Siberia, or degraded to serve as common soldiers. The milder punish- 
ments are suspension from the exercise of their office, and degradation to 
the lowest offices in the church, or to the condition of ordinary monks. It 
is a well-known fact, that those who on leaving seminaries directly take 
orders as secular priests, though they obtain livings more quickly, "never 
rise to the higher dignities of bishop or archbishop. They serve either as 
diatschok and diakon, or if, after leaving the seminary, they enter some 
other spiritual academy, they may become popes immediately. They have 
a right to marry like other men, but they may only marry once, and after 
the death of his wife a j)riest usually retires to a convent. 

Those only who submit to the severities of a conventual life, and, re- 
nouncing the happiness of marriage altogether, live only as half men, are 



f 



esteemed worthy of the higher spiritual dignities. They reaxjh them by the 
several steps of novice, monach (monk), AiVrowowacA (chief monk), archi- 
mandrite (abbot), and so on. A nun is called monakhina, an abbess 
iyumena, denominations all taken from the Greek. The higher clergy 
also take masters' and doctors' degrees at the academies. 

The ranks of the clergy are recruited partly from themselves, partly 
from the lower classes of the people. The number of pupils obtained in 
their own families is not inconsiderable, for in Russia also the marriages of 
priests are usually very fruitful. The journal of the ministry for the in- 
terior gives on an average five children for every priest's marriage ; this'is 
for St. Petersburg. In the interior of the empire the average may be 
higher. The sons of priests generally follow the profession of their father ; 
they are called popovitshi. The extra demand is suppHed by the free 
peasants and the bm-gers. The children of the nobles seldom or never 
enter the church as they do in Catholic countries. During an abode of 
several years in Russia I never heard but of one employe who entered a 
convent in consequence of domestic misfortune ; and of two officers who 
took the same step, from what motives I know not. I once found a Ger- 
man Protestant in a Russian convent, whose talents and education had at 
his outset in life promised him a very advantageous career. 

So much for the outward cordition and position of the Russian clergy. 
For the inward it must be owned, when we consider the whole system and 
its fruits during the course of centuries, and when we compare their deeds 
with those of the priesthood in other countries, they are a very insignificant 
body. They have done nothing super-excellent for the arts or for science, 
nor produced men who in any respect have done humanity great ser\ice. 
They lived, eat, drank, married, christened, buried, absolved, and died ; 
and on the whole they have not done much else. There are, it is true, 
notabiUties among the Russian clergy, but they are such only in Russia. 
To the list of Russian authors enumerated in the academical calendar for 
1839, the clerical profession had contributed only 102 ; of these, 66 were 
patriarchs, metropolitans, and bishops : the rest were monks. 

Some things however are to be said in praise of the Russian priesthood. 
They are not less than other Russians distinguished for their toleration 
in matters of religion. It is true the matter does not lie very near their 
hearts ; because they have few thoughts or ideas connected with it, which 
have become firm convictions, and are maintained as such; they are therefore 
peaceful, not so much out of dislike to quarrelling as from a want of zeal 
and energy. It is a merit in them nevertheless. Nowhere does this 
tolerant spirit appear in a more favourable light than on the frontiers of 
the Russian and Polish provinces. Here there are in many places only 
Greek and Roman Catholic priests, and no Protestant pastor. Should it 
happen that a foreign Protestant is in want of spiritual assistance in sick- 
ness, or should the body of a Protestant require burial, it is almost inva- 
riably the CathoHc, who in an inhuman and unchristian manner refuses 
his spiritual aid, while the Russian gives his without hesitation.* In 
such cases foreigners always apply to the Russian rather than to the 
Cathohc priests. Seldom is an unkind word heard from Russian priests 
when speaking of a person of a different faith ; and those who understand 
German, will even go frequently to the Protestant churches to hear the 

* I liavc this remark from the mouth of a German Russian Protestant. 



268 



rUE CLKRGY OF THE RUSSIAN CHURCH 



f 



preachers. In the Baltic provinces, when the military, who happen to 
be stationed there, have no Russian church within reach, the Russian 
priests never hesitate to perform divine service in a Protestant church, and 
in the interior it has liappened that they have lent their own churches to 
Protestauts. In Austria, Protestant churches are only called prayer 
houses. In Russia the priests treat them as on an equal footing with 
their own. Neither do they hesitate to bury their dead in the same 
churchyards with the Protestants.* The cultivated part of the priest- 
hood, who understand German, are much more inclined to the Protestant 
than to the Catholic party ; more to rationalism than mysticism. Their 
libraries prove it. Niemeyer's works, his Bible, the iSlumleii der Andac/tt, 
Schleiermacher's writings, Neanders Church History, are frequently met 
with. Here and there I have even seen Strauss's Life of Christ. The 
works of the other party are on the contrary very rare. When some 
recent occui-rences in the Baltic provinces and in Poland are called to 
mind, it may be thought that the Russian priesthood are somewhat less 
tolerant now than formerly, and in fact it is only natural, that with the 
proud exaltation of political power, the church should also begin to lift up 
her head. As the government seeks to advance the political creed, the 
church may endeavour by more lu-gent zeal and gieater energy to spread 
" the one and only true faith ;" but if the church does take her share in 
the conquests, and appears to progress in those provinces, it does so cer- 
tainly far less from its own impulse than in consequence of commands 
emanating from a higher quarter. 

* That the Protestants in Russia have generally their own churchyards arises 
from oilier causes, and certjiinly not from any want of toleration on the part of 
the Russian priests. In many, both parties are mingled indiscriminately. 



^^M 



269 

THE ACADEMIES AND SEMINARIES OF THE CLERGY. 

The academies and seminaries of the clergy boast of having awakened 
many a great mind for Russia. Speransky and Lomonossoff are not the 
only names. Much is said to be taught there. All instruction is given 
in the Russian and Latin languages. After Latin, — Greek, and the 
Slavonian languages (in the latter all the Russian ecclesiastical books 
are written), are the chief points of attention. Hebrew is seldom 
tauo-ht at all. I have often seen the students in the different towns, 
before their doors, or in the courts of the seminary, busily engaged 
with their books sometimes even in winter, and in the snow ; but in 
general they were only learning by rote. The priests have, of course, 
with different classes of pupils different methods of enforcing their in- 
structions. The man of the "people" if he be taught at all, is taught 
otherwise than the future priest, otherwise than the son of a noble. To 
the first it is only " take and believe." " To the latter, whose awakened 
spirit of inquiry they cannot repress in any other way, they give plausible 
motives and significations for all their ceremonies and dogmas. They 
have some pretty symbolical meaning for every practice, historical sanc- 
tion for every trifle ; a text from Scriptures for every ordinance, and 
thus by reconciling the mind to their usages, they win assent to their 
existence. 

This is the course of private instruction. In public every dogma of 
the church is advanced in unadulterated purity, and the most exact and 
complete answers are required to the most direct and special questions. As 
a proof of this I will give a specimen* of an examination held by a priest of 
some rank, in the presence of a great assembly. On these occasions a 
casket is presented to the students, who draw out the questions, which are 
written in the Latin language. For example, the following : Quid est 
coelum? Quid est Deus? &c. The first student drew the question 
Quid est angelus ? 

Priest. Befie ! Dicas mild quceso quid sit angelus f 
Pupil. A holy spirit serving God in Heaven. 
Preest. Bene. How many angels are there in Heaven ? 
Pupil. A vast munber, it cannot be precisely given. 
Priest. Indeed ! It can be precisely given ! Who knows ? 
Another Pupil. Twelve legions. 
Priest. Bene. How many compose a legion ? 

Pupil. In the time in which the Bible was wTitten, a legion wag com- 
posed of about 4500. 

Priest. How many angels are there then in Heaven ? 
The pupil tried in vain to reckon it in his head. 

Priest. K you cannot reckon it in your head, take the chalk and 
reckon it on the board. 

The pupil took the chalk and wrote down 

4500 
12 



54,000 



* I should hesitate to give a specimen, as it is somewhat difficult to believe in its 
correctness, if I had not had it word for word from the mouth of a man I could rely 
OD, and who was present at the examination. 

u 



270 



ACADEMIES AND SEMINARIES OF THE CLERGY. 



|4 



PuriL. 54,000. 

Priest. Bene. Of what sex are the angels ? 

Pupil. That cannot be exactly dctennined. . v . 

Bene. But I mean in their outward appearance, in their garments. 
Are they more like tlie male or female sex? In a word, how are their 
garments formed when they appear to us ? . n ^^ 

A kind of medium between the two, a sort of toga in tolds. 

Bene, 

&.C &c &c 

After all these theoretical matters comes the practical part ; the 
" slushba" (service), and therein at a later period consists the clnel art. A 
younff Russian seminarist is much more zealous to learn the " serx^ce, 
and to qualify himself for the execution of the minutest forms, and of his 
abilities that way he is much more proud, than of a knowledge of the more 
difficult questions of doctrine. As in ail offices of religion,— baptism, mass, 
&c —the form is in every minute particular defined, and erery stone, so to 
say, hewn and carved as in a Gothic church; it requires study and long 
practice, to g-et them all at the fingers' ends. I believe the suppleness of 
the Russians must do them good service here, and they find their way 
throuffh the maze much more quickly than a German w'ould do. 

Speaking of an officer the phrase is often used, " On otshen kharasho 
slnshbu snaver (He knows the service very exactly). The same phrase is 
applied to a priest. Yet strange does it sound to hear the demeanour ot a 
priest in the performance of his duties criticized in this manner. II Jait 
ie service avec beauooup de sentiment ;" or from another, « I do not like 
to go to him, he makes such a ridiculous figure in the service,-and has such 

bad manners." , ., 'ui^ 

At first I did not understand this, and did not see how it was Possible 
when the form of the spectacle was so precisely settled, that there could be 
much difterence ; but I afterwards observed among the priests traces ot 
affectation, an artificial sentimentality, and striving after effect, m the 
manner of making the cross, in pronomicing the blessing, in putting on the 
robes, and so forth. I shall never forget one old bishop, whom I have 
often seen officiate. The man might have been as old as the patriarchs ; 
liis white hair, and long white beard, hung from his head like the long 
moss tangles from a northern pine ; his slow step and gentle motions were 
those of a spirit, and his voice sounded like that of a hamadryad from the 
holloVv of a half decayed oak. When he pronounced the often -repeated 
words " In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost ; the 
last words sounded so ghostlike through the church, that one felt as if a 
supernatural being were near. Such priests are best liked by the Russians, 
they prefer them to young men gifted with the finest voices, as they preter 
their old black pictures to the pretty newly-painted ones, and old worn 
dirty prayer-books to clean and well piinted ones. 

J ust such another figure was the old Metropolitan of St. Petersburg, 
who could no longer hold a book, and was besides too dim-sighted to have 
read it if he had. ' The Bible used to be held before him, and what he had 
to read whispered in his ear by another, when the prompter was sometimes 
better heard than the actor. 



I 



271 



THE SECTS OF THE RUSSIAN CHURCH. 

I was sitting once on the shores of the Black Sea with an old Greek 
fisherman, who had formerly been captain of a small vessel, and as such 
had in his' youth visited Odessa, which was then a little Turkish anchoring- 
place. We had been speaking of different things, and came at last to the 
differences in rehgious beUef. After sundry remarks on the subject, my 
companion expressed his sentiments thus : " The only true Christians are 
those of the Greek church. That is evident. For what is Christianity? 
It is the holy Tiinity, and the three fingers mean the Trinity. We make 
the cross the only right way with three fingers. The Lutherans don't 
make the sign of the cross at all. I won't say that they are heathens 
exactly, but there is very little Christianity in them. And the Catholics, 
my God!" — and here he burst into an immoderate fit of laughter, — " they 
make the cross with thumps and punches in the ribs I" He could hardly 
recover himself from the excess of his mirth at the folly of the wrong- 
believing Catholics ! .. i ^ i r • u 
I had never before heard the absolute quintessence of the Greek taith, 
in the opinion of the common people, so frankly expressed as by this man, 
and he must have known it in fact better than the Russians themselves, 
inasmuch as he belonged to the nation from whom the former have re- 
ceived their faith. Now, I preface my few remarks on the sects of the 
Russian church, by these opinions of the worthy captain on Christianity, 
the Trinity, and the three fingers, because they offer the only correct me- 
dium through which these sectarian differences can be viewed. As the 
whole religion of the Greco -Russians consists more in outward observance 
than that of any other people, the sects formed in the bosom of their 
church differ in no other respect than in forms ; and never in any variance 
of opinion respecting the nature of the divine being. No prophet has ever 
risen among them to reform the errors of their doctrine or form of wor- 
ship. Some changes have undeniably taken place in the course of 
centuries, but they have been changes of manner, not of matter ; sects 
have arisen, not, however, from any yearning after newer and higher light, 
but from a stubborn clinging to the older forms. That such is really the 
case is sufficiently proved by their name " StaroveruH' (old-beHevers), 
under which name all the sects, said to be fifty in number, are included. 
Our dissenting sects might rather be called " /i^ir -believers," as they have 
sprung from the birth of new ideas. 

Suyeff, who in the time of Catherine published some very interesting 
notes of his travels in the interior of Russia, is of opinion that many of 
those sects are the offspring of the heathen times. In Tula he found a 
sect which practised many Indian superstitions, and denied the divinity of 
Christ; he thought it might be the remains of an Indian commercial 
colony from the borders of the Caspian Sea, which had assumed some 
external semblance of Christianity, or some heathen ^ro^e^^aw^* against 
the Christianity introduced by Vladunir, who to their old heathenish rites 
had superadded the Christian. 

Some of those sects have priests, others not ; some choose their spiritual 
guides only among those persons who for some crime have been ejected 
from the ranks of the orthodox priesthood. Some build their churches 
one way, some another ; one never observes any fast, another prohibits fish 

u 2 



272 TIIE SECTS OF THE RUSSIAN CHURCH. 

as a fast-dish. In short, differences in external forms are en<Uess ; in the 
inward spirit there are none. There are some sects accused of hideous 
licentiousness in their doctrine and practice ; for example, one sect is said 
to resemble the Adamites in Bohemia, whose members hve, with respect 
to marriage, as did the children of Adam. Another sect believe they per- 
form a work grateful to God in sacrificing their manhood. 

The hatred and contempt of these sects for one another, and the enmity 
between aU of them and the orthodox church, are excessive ; and it is re- 
markable that the Russians, otherwise so tolerant, should be so very bitter 
in these dissensions with their brethren. The sectarians are the most so, 
at least the occasions of scandal that have ansen proceed almost exclusively 
from them. The hatred of those sects who do not smoke, who do not eat 
fish or who make the cross from right to left against those who differ 
from them in these things, goes so far, that they not only spit m each 
other's faces, but hold it to be not only pardonable, but positively merito- 
rious to kill one of the obnoxious misbelievers Whilst the orthodox 
Russ an respects even a Lutheran church, some of these heretics hold any 
degree of outrage to be allowable in a consecrated place not consecrated 

to their own faith. ^ .i tt i i. •* ^..o* 

The town of Rsheff, lying on that part of the Volga where it fir t 
becomes navigable, and which enjoys a considerable t^^de, holds within its 
walls considemble numbers of those who protested agamst Peter the Great s 
tobacco-smoke and razors. The place contains 10,000 inhabitants and 
many of the richest merchants belong to the Staroveruu The or hodox be- 
UeveVs are less numerous, and have in consequence suffered much from he 
insolence of the " old-believers." In the year 1832, the latter went a little too 
far, and an accusation was made, to examme the truth of which an extra- 
ordinary commission was sent from St. Petersburg. A party of the old- 
beUevers had given an old disbanded soldier, a poor devil who was ready 
for any mischief, a few hundred rubles, to put some gross insult upon 
their orthodox townsmen. He went, in consequence one morning to he 
principal church of the latter, burst through the royal door of the 
ikonostas, through which the high-priest alone enters, entered the sanc- 
tuary, seized the consecrated bread and threw it on the floor and drank 
UP the red wine as if to the health of those present. Then throwing the 
chalice at their heads, he burst through the not very numerous congrega- 
tion and went to his patrons to relate his scandalous exploit. After such 
an occurrence as this.'it may be readily supposed that both parties broke 
out into open hostiUties, and even during the stay of the commission, 
which consisted of several generals, and other persons of rank, various 
murders were committed, the incensed parties lying mutually in wait for 
TaTother. The commission could do as little with these ep;sodical crimes 
as with the original offence. The " old-behevers cor^Pt^d/l *»>« wit- 
nesses, and even went so far as to offer, through a third hand a bribe of 
200,000 rubles, to the commissioners themselves. Some of the poorer 
offenders were punished; but the wealthy planners of the whole scandal 
escaped altogether, and the commission separated without doing any 

There are "old-believers" in St. Petersburg but they are few. Moscow 
is their head-quarters, to judge by the size of their churchyard. In Tula 
there are said to be 10,000. It is not possible to make a very exact esti- 
mate of their numbew, as they conceal themselves in some measure, and 



THE UNIVFRSlTt 



273 



1 



ao not willingly confess their absurd tenets No government has produced 
Conotwuuiig^ ^ Great, because none introduced 

more ^^^r i^X^TJ^vr^^^'^^--- °f *»>; discontented were without 
Xt.tr natii^l^formedCcts, which, though smaU originally, corn- 
effect^ they naturally tor , ^^^ ^^ ^^j^ ^^her to have 
pared with the great boov oi o ,, old-believers " 

£r"?l?::.'xr iiX*s: crss 9?-.^ 

Dn eper It t to be remarked of these "old-believers," tha they are by 
no means so hospitable as the orthodox part of the community, \olun- 
teerclcerord are never found in their churches, and they are not willing to 
receive s^r"nge^ into their houses without numberiess previous conditions, 
"rey are JaSarly afraid, not of their smoking, for that they take care 
the/shall'not do, but of their bringing even the =-^\«V'^nd1^miS' 
as in that case the whole house must be aired, purified, and f"™g*t«»- 
Western Europeans they do not at all like, as to them are ascribed the 
Eed TnnovatLs ; he/ce the Staroverui are unfit ^"^J-^^^J: ; *:,,t 
Petersburg emperors; they would better have suited the Muscovite czars, 
being in all respects people of the ancient regime. 

THE UNIVERSITY. 
The University of Moscow had some years ago a striking example of 
atti hmenTto yLhful recollections, in the person ^^ ^ Ff ^Xlild n 
mlstrv who, up to the year 1829, made use of a compendium published m 
msfwtn^eL conscientiously taught his P»P»\«- ^XSha" n the 
il L\l bimself imbibed in his youth. He overlooked the fact that, in tne 
Jio^ forty Tarall to wLh he clung with such endunng love had 
been long ulteri rejected and cast away. He forgot that science was 
^ot standlnrstilf; that the advance of chemistry was palpable from year 
to year almost frU day to day ; and he continued gravely to sit on hu 
ei Ind to prophesy that it would speedily be hatched, long after it had 
Wome evident there was nothing under him but an empty shell. 
Xof his oUeagues-the two must have suited each other admirab y 
a professor of Gr'ek, continued for five-and-twenty years togethei% to 
;;opound marvels to th; students, out of Xenophmi's Memorabilia, which 
Fs Sv but light nourishment for a student of the second year. If 
tWse two facts ffford fair data from which to udge the general condi- 
S of the oldest university in Russia, from 1755 to 1830, its usefulness 
caimot have been very remlrkable. In the latter y^' ^<>-;-;„VX; 
derable change was made for the better. Some of the professors were 
honourably dfsmissed. and the sum of 80,000 rubles advanced to supply 
some enorLus deficiencies in the library. New b-lt"^--- -^I 
and the professors informed, that the chemical class-books of 177& had be 
come mo« or less obsolete ; and also that to redeliver remarks on Xenophon 8 
Mmo^abilia, from the works of foreigners, was no very remarkable effort 
nn the wart of a Greek professor. . . 

Accordingly, on our 4it in 1837, signs of improvement were visible. 



274 



THE UNIVERSITY 



A new church had just been finished, a large hall for the museum erected, 
and some neighbouring houses purchased for the extension of the academy. 
The number of the students was not, however, on the increase ; there had 
been, in 1828, nearly 800 ; in 1837 there were only 600. 

The scientific collections are on the whole insignificant, although they 
offer some things worthy of admiration. In the mineral collection is the 
great Siberian emerald, three inches long and two thick. In the zoological, 
there is a bouquet of flowers formed of fifty colibris, arranged into that 
form, the work of one of the lower servants of the institution ; a pretty 
fancy, but fitter for the apartment of an Indian princess, than for a 
scientific collection. 

The thing's best worth seeing in the University of Moscow are the ana- 
tomical cabinet of Loder, with the microscopic preparations of Lieber- 
kuhn. This collection is particularly rich in human hearts, of which there 
are a great number, all spitted on needles. I thought, while looking at 
them, of the many poor hearts yet beating, whose muscles are doomed to 
quiver on as keen a point ! The idea of a broken heart belongs to the 
English ; — a heart upon a spit is just as peculiar to Russia, where broken 
hearts in the English sense are few, but very many the hearts bedded on 
needles. 

In Loder's anatomical collection there is also a camel's stomach ex- 
panded to its natural extent, with all its cells and subdivisions. It is so 
arranged, that every hidden corner in which the food is retained till per- 
fectly dissolved, can be as exactly noted as if the spectator could put liis 
head into the very body of the camel. The stomach is a good deal 
cherished in Moscow, as is well known ; it is quite natural, therefore, that 
many rarities from this interesting portion of the animal organization 
should be preserved here. Among other things there is a stocking taken 
from the stomach of a cow, and which had been there changed into a 
hard firm mass, without losing the appearance of the webb ; the remains 
of a billiard-ball from the stomach of a dog, where, within four-and-twenty 
hours it had diminished to a fifth of the original size ; a pair of scissors, a 
knife, and a fork, from the stomach of a man, where they had been 
twisted and bent as by the hammer of a smith. In the same stomach, 
which had belonged to some fire-eating conjurer, there were found no less 
than ten pounds weight of such foreign substances, very hard of mastica- 
tion one would think, even if the strong hand of a Peter had previously 
removed all the bad teeth. The instrument used for tooth- drawing by 
this remarkable sovereign, lies in the same case with those stomach curiosi- 
ties ; it is a little, rough, short instrument, something like that used by 
smiths to pick locks. This illustrious surgeon was a diligent operator in 
this branch of science ; nevertheless, he has left many a foul stump in the 
head of Russia, of which the worst of all is the serfdom of the peasants ; 
the removal of that evil is an operation yet to be performed. 

In the cases containing Lieberkulm's prepaiations are some specimens 
quite unique ^ in their kind. Among other things there are some exces- 
sively fine injections of many of the minutest vessels of the human body, 
done by the late Professor Lieberkuhn, of Berlin. Every injection is en- 
closed with a microscope of its own, tlu'ough the glasses of which the 
most interesting and wonderful perspective is aflbrded into the fathomless 
depths and sinuosities of a morsel of fat, or of a scale of the skin. In 
one of the microscopes the objects aiQ the pores of a squaie fine of a hu- 



THE UNIVERSITY. 



275 



n w«^^*»r. into the most delicate arterial divisions and fibres, im- 

man g^^^"^^^^^^^^^ naked e^^^ Professor Lieberkuhn has injected some 
perceptible to the^^^ed eye, r ^ ^^^^^ .^ ^ ^^^ ^^^^ 

fluid so subtde, that every t^^^^^^ P^^^ ^^^^^ cannot be in like 

of embroidery. It is a pty tlie w ^ .^^^^;^^,,^ .^,^, ^^h aU its 

manner ^^^^^^P^^*^^^^^^^ by the raging of the pas- 

"otrrramtcLt^Jn of the vess'els might I studied together widi 
the im^u£s of vktue and of thought upon the web of our nerves. Spirits 
i fi'e and hands so dehcate as Liebeikuhn's are not often born ; and it 
is mueh tot lamented that the recipe for the preparation c>f the red mate- 
riaTS by him for his injections should have died with him. 

T^lection of humai skeletons is very conaplete ; there are not less 
than Ltv spe^^^^^ varying from the embryo, five inches long, to theJuU 
SvelS^^^^^^ organization. They are arranged on stages m the hall ; 
SchTon aiL man/ other things calculated to awaken the zeal ot a 
7or^er professor of the University of Kasan, who, when he heard of the 
TL work cLried on by the anatomists in the institution under his 
fwe Tdted aTLm^^^^^^^ stop to be put to it caused all the hiiman 
reS of bones and skeletons to be collected, and then had them 

^"S same Isvoshtshik who had brought me to the -™^^^ 
me also to the Synodahiiya Typographia (Printmg-office of the Syn^), 
which I had the permission of the director to inspect. As f^]^^ll^^^ 
runters to reckon with, the Russians cannot get on without the help ot 
tC rfckl^^^^ tables. If these are not at hand, they imagine them and 
;trthXl to the right and left till the de-d resist . ob^^ned 
\Vhen I asked the director how many books were prmted at his ottice m 
Seyear he moved the beads with great rapidity on his board and reported 

S:C:bers. In 1836 his presses ^f^}'-^\T,T^-^^^^^ 
261 000 copies were thro>vn off, containing 1,333,000 sheets, to oe soiu 
for S^O rubles. The principal work was the ^love^skayaMa 
(the Slavonian A-B-C-book) wliich alone took up nearly a tlurd ot the 

""rh^'synodal Printing-office is remarkable as being the oldest in Mos- 
co J, and^Sideed in Rufsia. It was founded in 1^53 by b^n IV. Th^^ 
date is inscribed in large figures over the building, f hou?h the greater 
part was burnt down in 1812 ; but it was rebuilt in the old style,— a most 
S^wbTexpedient, for if there is any good to be de.ived from <. e°»fl»: 
nation it is the destruction of old, inconvenient forms, and the op- 
fin Y afforded for the introduction of a better sty e of architecture. 
^ We must not, of course, come to the Synodal Printing-office m Moscow- 
founded 300 years ago, and which in 1812 '^S'^'" .^-""ISfJ^^ J°^ ^^r! 
middle ages, to study the progress of Russian printing. The anient je"«[ 
Tble Slafonian writings, iun|ingso fondly to what is old, that they a>^ stiU 
printed in the primitive letters brought to the barbarian Sl^^^^^^J^ 
KyrvU and Methodius, 1000 years ago, are naturally slow to adopt 
Sprovements in machinery, which being i-oyations are very unwj^ng ^ 
admitted at aU. The presses m this estabhshment are aU c°5,^tf^««^ 
after antique models, in which more oak than iron is used. I-ven the 
Uttie "quick press," introduced here in 1830 from the Alexander ma^hine- 
mlnufXryL St. Petersburg, groans fearfully -fe"- 't^J™*;*X 
lightenment; one may perceive by the clang and clatter, how .ery 



276 



PUBLIC GARDENS. 



tedious It must find the task of bringing old Slavonian A-B-C-books into 
the world. Some radical defect there must be in the machine, for every 
sheet came out notched, and with a fold in it. 

Not only the types with which the old Slavonian church-books are 
printed differ from those of profane presses, but the whole manner of 
setting them differs likewise. The letters are taken up with the left4iand,* 
and the whole manual labour, even to the mhmtest detail, has its antique 
peculiarities. Unfortunately the time was too short for me to find out 
the why and wherefore of these peculiarities. 

One hundred and sixty-five workmen are employed on these eighty 
works. Out of darkness cometh light ; for in the whole establishment 
reigns so obscure a twilight, that in stepping into the street we felt as if 
we were coming out of a mine, a mine whence was afterwards to shine 
forth the gold of the sacred writings. 



PUBLIC GARDENS. 



TEA-HOUSES AND TAVERNS. 

Whoever has made a pilgrimage through the churches of Moscow, 
and afterwards followed the windings of the shops, without tasting any 
thing better than street dust and Russian church air, cannot be greatly 
deserving of reproof if his eyes run as eagerly over the signs of the houses 
as those of a young lady through a romance, till they rest on the wished 
for word Restaur ation,\ not the less welcome for its orthographical cor- 
ruption into Rastirazie. I was soon fortunate enough to find myself in 
the^ first or entrance room of a Russian coffee-house, where aU the deli- 
cacies to be enjoyed in the second and thii'd, were in the process of frying, 
roasting, and boiling. That I might be duly imbued with Russia, inside 
as well as out, I bespoke a Russian dish, Selennoi Shtshi (green cabbage 
soup), and must own I did not repent it, for the soup was good and nou- 
rishing. Besides, as it is not transparent, one is not aware of the deli- 
cacies it niay conceal in its depth, and one may enjoy all the pleasure of 
curiosity in fishing them up with a spoon. This was my first trial of 
Selennoi Shthshi, so I made a bold plunge. The first prize for me the 
" sausage eater" as the Russians call us Germans, was in fact a sausage; 
then I landed a piece of beef, then an invitingly-coloured piece of ham, an 
egg, and a number of other things besides. While waiting for my second 
dish, I had time to look about me a little. The rooms were very large, 
painted in gay colours and abundantly furnished with looking-glasses ; a 
picture of a saint with a lamp before it was in every room, of course. The 
name of the domestics is legion, in the Russian coffee-house as in the 
house of a nobleman. In this house, though there were only eight rooms 
the attendants were sixty in number. In the coffee-houses of Moscow 
they are all dressed in white cotton ; white pantaloons, wliite shirts or 
jackets, and white girdles to bind all together. 



* Unless some Russian wag purposely misled me. I cannot now remember whether 
I saw it myself or not. 

t Throughout Germany the word restauratlon is used for what in France is known 
under the appellation of restaurant, and the Russians, it seems, have adopted the 
German-French designation from their neighbours. 



THE PALACE IK RUINS. 



277 



rrv ..cf nf the company were all Russians, mostly merchants, ynth 

In tMn spri^SinTorTLnnovniks: The long beards sat together 

only a *^^^^. JX un^^^^^ smoked and were reading newspapers like 

and drank ^^^^ f %XX ^'^^ ^^^^' '^'''^^''' '"' ^""""^^ """'"'' 

other Eiiropeans.^P^^^^^^ civilization, and in seeking 

7:$^^^^^^^ Every -e as he came m saluted 

LVctur. a^^^^^ - f- ,, ,,,3, ,.,,e-houses 

. ?^r" i PtTon^rpipr They are long earthen tubes with flat Turkish 
headrsthT reS by theL^^^^^^^ indeed throughout Rus.. 

Ss'aiTcoC^^^ is intended for public use and the pipes travel from 
I he said coiiecuo ^^g ^i[ \i^\,t and carry them round smok- 

wt rS is. ft i St at l.t' to i^agln'c how it is possible 

to^emplov^ie crowds of attendants, till we note how much service 

LrusL public require. Not only the pipes must be ekaned, fiM, 

Shted and put in the mouths of the guests, but many wiU have Ae^ 

Es ^^tuheymust Lve abundance of idle time. I-wmany xn 
the evV-nff sitting on the benches doing nothing; one ^as^^keP ^»^ 
s oriiTwUh his head on the table, others were playing cards; one waa 
snoring wim ^^^^ ^^ smoking. There is no 

i:^r fn rorld whSen must be driven so much in herds to a.com- 
S Inv workT as in Russia. I have read in history that they always storm 
SrJsbyt;usaiids,andI ha>. seen them evei^ wW, plojl""g; -P; 
ins and sowing by hundreds ; the same principle is at woik 1 presume 
K coffee-hoies, for I had four people to put on my cloak. 



THE PALACE IN RUINS. 

Although Moscow has risen with wonderful celerity from the ashes of 
mv/vrtaU traces of that fearful conflagration have not entirely disap- 
Jeai^/ In Afferent parts of the city there are stUl to be seen hoi^es 
with the w-indows and doors burnt away, and overgro«-n with grass axid 
Tn he cCd. of the "Protection of Mary" several chapels lay still m 
1837 in d^t and desolation, as they had been left by the trench m 

^^One of the most extensive ruins of this kind is the palace of the family 
of iLloff situated on a hill opposite the Kremlm, rearing itself above 
the neighbouring houses, and presenting to the eyes of a favelW a most 
imnoS mass. The famUy is one of the many that date their wealth 
and hoir from the tim^e of Catherine. They possessed at one time 
Lver^ palaces here, but to maintain them in order much money was 
wIntinK!and as money gradually slipped through therr fingers, the greater 
lumbefof the palaees%vere sold, and even then there was not money 
Zo^h \Jt to^air one, after it had been plundered b;, the Frend. 
This palace, as it has many pendants m Moscow, and is marked by 



278 



THE PALACE IN RUINS. 



many of the characteristics of social life peculiar to that city, may deserve 
some fm-ther mention. 

Viewed from a distance it is one of the proudest of palaces ; when we 
examine it more closely, we perceive a showy exterior of decoration, veil- 
ing ruin and decay. The entrance to the courtyard is through a great 
portal guarded by two huge Hons ; but the portal is made of brick, 
and the lions, hollow plaster figures, have long since fallen to pieces. 
Lions made of such frail materials, and in just such miserable condition, are 
very often found as door-keepers before the palaces of Moscow ; proofs of the 
unsoUd spirit of the place ; of the outward show of greatness, where the 
substance is wholly wanting. Nothing can be more unsettled than the 
lives of some of the nobles ; they wander through all the steppes of 
Russia, go far into the interior, and vanish for a time on their estates ; 
then build a house in Moscow, and set up plaster hons before the door ; 
they are soon weary of this, sell the whole colony, and take up their 
abode in St. Petersburg. Thus it is that nothing really beautiful and 
soHd is ever erected. 

The courtyards of the off palace might be called in the highest 

degree disorderly ; inasmuch as weeds are every where springing up be- 
tween the paving-stones, and broken carnage-wheels, mouldering barrels, 
and other rubbish are lying bout ; but it is advisable to be sparing with 
superlatives, and begin with the positive "disorderly," in kitchen, cellar, 
and chamber, in order to have words in reserve to bestow on what is 
quite unbearable. 

As for kitchens in Russia, we may as well take occasion to recommend 
travellers in general, not to be too curious in their inquiries after the places 
in which the dishes set before them are prepared, but to eat with what 
appetite they may, and ask no questions. Judged by the standard of a 
Dutch or English, or in some measure even of a German kitchen, that of 

the off palace is undeniably an uninviting, dirty hole. In so far it 

fulfils the business of a kitchen, as the sight of it is calculated to take 
away one's hunger in the most perfect manner. In the other rooms I 
found large chandeliers half broken, lying covered with dust on the floor, 
and oil paintings pell-mell with broken pots. Established temples of dis- 
order, lumber-rooms as they are called, are necessary in every house, 
and contribute to the general tidiness of a mansion, but whole suites of 
lumber-rooms, are peculiar to a Muscovite household. 

I next ascended with the house-steward to the roof, to enjoy the fine 
prospect which I thought it must offer. All the upper chambers were in 
the same deplorable condition, to which the French had reduced them, 
with the addition of the rubbish added by the tooth of time. The house is 
indeed once more roofed, and also provided with balustrades, pillars, bal- 
conies, and such things, " dla krassoti" (for beauty) as my guide expressed 
it. But every one knows how very fragile a thing Russian beauty is, 
and how very soon that which is meant for ornament (like the unnatural 
rouge on a woman's cheek) has exactly a contrary effect. The architec- 
tural decorations (this word is peculiarly suited to the Russian style of 
building) are, again, in a most melancholy state of decay. The balus- 
trade is fallen away from the terrace, the piUars are no longer perpendicular, 
and the plaster urns are hanging over the walls ready to be hurled by the 
first high wind into the street below. 

The daws, pigeons, crows, &c., have nestled in such numbers, in the 



MOSCOW A PROVINCIAL CITY. 



279 




irreat empty space within, that the whole house is hke one great aviary. 
Thirty or thirty.five fire-ravaged chambers and corridors have been changed, 
by the accmmaated filth of a quarter of a century, into veritable Augean 
stlbles ; to cleanse which the property of the family is no longer Hercr^ean 
enouffh As for the doves, these innocent favourites of Venus have m- 
cre3 so astonishingly that they are a publ c calamity The steward to d 
meTe had often had the upper windows repaired but they were constant y 
broken by the doves ; and when he caused them to be nailed up with 
boards, these birds had pecked themselves an entrance tl^rough the roof. 
The Russians have a kind of religious horror of killing one of these bu-ds 
though they take no care of them otherwise ; and it is even so with the 
doffs, particularly among the people of Lesser Russia. , 

\he off palace has so commanding a site, and looks so imposing 

from the streets of Moscow, that many may be misled as I was, and fancy 
tW is a fine view of the KremHn to be obtained from it ; let me observe 
here once for all, that they may spare themselves the trouble of mountmg 
the steps! The walls of the Kremlin are higher on this side than any 
where else, so high, that it is impossible to see completely over them ^u 
its towers and churches seem to He in a heap, nothmg is ^^eveloped or 
grouped, the utmost to be gained is the knowledge of what we shovdd 
^arcely have otherwise surmLd, that even the Kremhn has its wearisome 

" On the ground-floor, a suite of elegant apartments does not dl^dajf ^ 
lie under tiiat wUdemess of dirt and lumber which has just been described, 
and above that melancholy souterrain of servants oftices. 1 he master 
of the house lives here only a short time in wmter, being fettered to St . 
Petersburg by some pubUc office. When the family is coming, the rooms 
r"anfd and patdied and painted, and all " kak m budT (is somehow) 
put into seeming order ; sufficiently so at least to make a show for six weeks. 

MOSCOW A PROVINCIAL CITY. 

In the time of Cathenne and Paul, and even under Alexander, Moscow 
wasa secessus of the richest and most independent nobles ; and partially 
TL so now but by no means in the degree we in Gei-many suppose. In 
the thertrl at the concerts, &c., it has far more the character of a pro- 
Ike alcty than of a capital, as it stlU calls itself. Under the reign of 
Ihe Emperor Nicholas, though he has not neglected this darhng of the 
natiorand heart of its interior life, the importance of the city I'as greatty 
dlmCii'shed. Not only the most distinguished talents f-^\^-^l^^^^ 
themselves to the service of the state are to be found m St. 1 etersburg, 
buHhe largest fortunes have been allured thither by the charms of the 
court Many palaces and magnificent country-houses are unoccupied m 
the neigShLd of Moscow ;% large number have fallen into die hands 
of the Government. The court, if it does not, as under ^^^ ft'™^' 
reiffns, show too much scorn of national manners, has a wondei-tuUy at- 
Sve power over the Russians. They are far from being animated 
by he spirit of Caesar, who would rather have been the first man in 
fcalwinkel than the second in Rome. The Russians think rathe.^ " be"^ 
he one among thousands in St. Petersburg, than the only one in Moscow. 
It ha^ been weU said, a^ long ago as by Herberstem, no nation has .such a 
passion for submitting to command as the Russians. 



280 



MOSCOW A PROVINCIAL CITY. 



Thus in Moscow we find at the present time, moderate fortunes, and 
moderate talents; fortunes not large enough to veil other deficiencies, 
talents not great enough to secure their position in society. Here too the 
bonds of society sit lighter and easier ; all is more old Russian, the French- 
German manners of the Baltic capital are not liked, and those of the old 
Asiatic centre are greatly preferred. This is particularly the case with 
the wealthy merchants and some others, who have no personal privileges 
in society/ For them Moscow will long remain the loved and holy. 

Moscow must also remain the centre of internal commerce, as this ad- 
vantage does not depend upon the caprice of an individual will, but on 
geographical position. The manufactures of the city have increased 
greatly of late years, and it is so decidedly first in this respect that no 
other in the empire can bear even a distant comparison with it. Nearly 
20,000 of its Inhabitants owe their means of existence to this branch of 
human industry. Being, as it is, the chief seat of manufacture and internal 
commerce, Moscow has an important voice in the administration. This 
voice it is true, is seldom loud, but it is listened to, and respected. The 
difference that exists in this respect between Moscow and St. Peters- 
burg is sufficiently proved by the fact that the former has never had a 
German governor appointed over it, while St. Petersburg has usually 
foreign commanders. A native Russian is always selected for Moscow, 
because she will endure no other. The city even stands upon its dignity 
sometimes, takes something amiss, and asks an explanation, as if it had, 
like an English city, old privileges to guard. It is related that when on 
the occasion of the inundation in St. Petersburg, in 1824, the minister 
wrote to the citizens of Moscow, to call on them to advance money, he 
made use of some unsuitable expressions, of which an explanation was 
demanded before the supply was granted. 

With reference to art, literature, and fashion, and all therewith con- 
nected, Moscow stands in relation to St. Petersburg much as the latter 
city does to Paris. As St. Petersburg hates and despises Paris, and yet 
follows Parisian fashions unconditionally, and awaits with impatience the 
coming of the first steamboat in spring that shall bring them, so does 
Moscow hold St. Petersburg in abhorrence, yet purchases of no milliner 
who does not write up ^^ de Peter sbourg,*' and receives no artist with favour 
Vv'ho has not previously been lauded there. After passing an examination, 
and after having been approved of in St. Petersburg, his patent is ratified, 
and he may finish his tour with applause throughout the empire. I heard 
in Moscow a violinist, a Mr. H., who had been tolerated in Paris, and had 
in consequence been received with rapturous applause in St. Petersburg. 
Mr. H.'s fortune was now made for Russia, and he of whom no mortal had 
ever before heard any thing extraordinary, was all at once raised to the rank 
of a celebrated artist, who stood before the public of Moscow bashfully won- 
dering at his own sudden fame, while praise, applause, and garlands were 
raining down in abundance on him ; his merit was exalted to the skies, 
and the good folks of Moscow, with one voice, swore he was the firet 
yiolinist in the world. 

As Moscow appears only as a provincial city in its public amusements, 
80 it has likewise a provincial air in its streets and coffee-houses. After 
the concert of Mr. H. we were made to feel this, by finding in the coffee- 
houses at ten o'clock, none but a few French and Germans gossipping and 
drinking the champagne of the Don. The Russian waiter, of whom we 



MOSCOW AFTER THE CONFLAGRATION. 



281 



fnquired how it was that no Russians were to be seen, rephed that it wag 
dways so; the Nyemtzi (Germans) liked - prasgovorm^^ (talking two or 
tWtOffether), but that Russians only drank tea to throw themselves mto 
a nersDiSion and then went to bed. At eleven o'clock all Moscow is 
XTTndit is difficult to get a conveyance, while in St. Petersburg they 
Tre to be had a every hour of the night. In St. Petersburg the shops are 
not opened^ even inVpring, before nine in the morning, whereas m Moscow 
purchases may be made two or tliree hours earlier. 

AQUEDUCTS. 

Verv few houses in Moscow possess wells ; nearly all the water used is 
drawn^from the few stone basins in the streets. The manner m which the 
people draw the water is extraordinarily rude and simple They drive the 
carts on which the barrels are placed close to the basm, bale out the water 
in little pails to which long poles are fastened, and from the V^f^T^^^^^^ 
any medium of spout or funnel, into the square bung-hole of the ca^k. 
Their aim is certainly remarkably good, and the greater part of the water 
goes into the barrel, but enough runs over, notwithstanding, to make a con- 
Btant swamp in the summer, and a very mconvement hill of ice in the 
winter This waste is the more unpardonable, because the water is brought, 
Tith much labour and great cost, by the canal of SMarevaBashma 

This Sukhareva Bashnia^ih^i is, the tower of Sukhareff--was on^- 
nally a building erected by Peter the Great for the administration ot the 
streUtzi, and was named after a certain Sukhareff, who, though himself 
a Strelitz, did the emperor good sen-ice during the revolt of those Russian 
pretorian bands. It is a lofty square tower m the Garden-street standing 
in the centre of a long building, and serves, as before said, as a reservoir 
for the city. The water from which the tower is supplied rises seventeen 
versts from Moscow, is brought by an aqueduct to within three versts and 
there raised by a steam-engine erected by the Emperor Nicholas, and im- 
pelled into the basin of the tower, whence it is earned to the different 
basins in the city. The water pours into the basm of the tower from a 
sUver vessel, placed on one side, which sends out constantly fifty streams, 
each an inch in diameter. The Russian eagle, likewise of silver expands 
his winffs over these fifty fountains ; and on the wall above all, the picture 
of a saint is suspended, under whose auspices all this labour is earned on. 
Such a guardian is placed over every spring used by man m Russia. 

MOSCOW AFTER THE CONFLAGRATION. 
The architecture of Moscow, since the conflagration of 1812 is not 
quite so bizarre as, according to t.he accounts of travellers twa^^ 
\^\ pvpnt • nevertheless it is singular enough. In lSi5 tne pomu 
hbfly TvbwTs to build, and b^ild quieUy, -f - J,''- ^^/^Z 
certain plan into execution; the houses were replaced with nearly t^e same 
irreglrity with respect to each other, and the streets b^^'^^""^^^ 
and^tortuous as before. The whole gained !'"!« 'V^fJ^^fy ^Cd^, 
burning, but each individual house was built in much better teste, gardens 
tamf more frequent, the majority of the roofs were ™ade °f iron pamted 
preen a lavish waa made of pillars, and even those who could not be 
frof^eerected more elegant cottages- Hence Moscow ha. all the c1k«™s 



282 



RUSSIAN THIEVES. 



TRADING BOYS. 



283 



of a new city, with the pleasing neghgence and picturesque irregularity of 
an old one. In the streets of modem Moscow, we come, now to a large 
magnificent palace, with all the pomp of Corinthian pillars, wrought-iron 
trellis-work, and magnificent approaches and gateways ; and now to a 
simple whitewashed house, the abode of a modest citizen's family. Near 
them stands a small church, with green cupolas and golden stars. Then 
comes a row of Httle yellow wooden houses, that remind us of the old Mos- 
cow ; and these are succeeded by one of the new colossal erections for some 
public institution. Sometimes the road winds through a number of little 
streets ; we fancy ourselves in a country-town ; suddenly it rises, and we 
are in a wide " place," from which streets branch off to all quarters of the 
world, while the eye wanders over the forest of houses of the great capital ; 
we descend again, and come in the middle of the town to the banks of a 
river planted thickly with gardens and woods, 

THE CHOLERA HOSPITAL: 

Among the gigantic erections just mentioned is the Cholera Hospital, 
destined for the maintenance and education of orphan children. It owes 
its origin and its name to the cholera that raged in Moscow in 1830. 
Its ravages left many children without parents. A wealthy prince, 
Gagarin, took charge of thirty of these poor orphans ; gave up to them 
a wing of his house, engaged male and female teachers for them, and 
thus 8)rmed a private benevolent institution. When it became more 
extensive, the crown came to his assistance, and, after the death of the 
beneficent prince, took the whole establishment upon itself. An enormous 
house — one of those houses like the quarter of a city, built in Catherine's 
time — was purchased from Count Apraxin, and in it are now maintained 
200 orphan boys and as many girls. The boys are kept there till they 
are prepared for the university, and the girls till they are fit for go- 



vernesses. 



RUSSIAN THIEVES. 



I 



Shortly before my departure from Moscow, I had the good fortune to 
catch a thief who was just about to rob me in a regular Russian style. I 
had wearied myself with running about the town, and had thrown myself 
upon the sofa behind a large screen, when I heard some one come into the 
room and begin rummaging among my moveables, evidently not knowing 
that any one else was near. I called out " Kto tam ?" (Who is there ?) 
" It is I," was the answer. The rascal wanted to cheat me into the 
belief that he was my servant ; but when I looked from behind the screen 
to get a nearer view of this " I," I saw quite another physiognomy than 
any I was used to. The fellow let fall the hnen he had scrambled 
together, and cried out with a look of anxious and excessive humility, 
" Ah, excuse me, sir ; pray forgive me. I have made a mistake. I 
thought this was No. 12, and I see it is No. 11," added he, looking at 
the number of the room as if quite sm-prised. As I could not prove his 
gmlt, I let the rogue go with a warning to look at nmnbers a httle more 
carefuUy in future ;